Diabetic Bread Recipes in Your Bread Machine

There are certain key steps and ingredients to consider if you are trying to make bread for someone with a diabetic condition. Here’s what to keep in mind.

4 - multigrain sliced loaf

Millions of people around the world have either Type 1 diabetes, or Type 2 diabetes. Millions more have a condition known as prediabetes that can eventually lead to Type 2 diabetes.

 

So What’s the Problem with Bread?

Anyone with a diabetic condition is challenged by their ability to manage their blood sugar levels. When blood glucose spikes too high various impacts occur ranging from high-blood pressure to kidney problems, nerve problems, feet, and eyes, to obesity and other conditions. Type 1 diabetics often use regular injections of insulin to manage their condition.

 

Excess Carbohydrates Raise Blood Sugar Levels

That’s the challenge when it comes to making, baking and eating bread. Many breads are high in carbohydrates as a result of the type of flour and how it was processed, and added sugar or sugars that some recipes call for. The solution is to understand the flours that have the least impact from a carbohydrate standpoint, the use of natural or artificial sweeteners, and care and attention to other ingredients that could add carbohydrates like canned fruits.

 

Blood Glucose 101

Blood glucose or blood sugar gives us the energy we need to essentially function. However consistently high levels can cause a spike in glucose affecting everyone, but especially people with diabetic conditions.

 

Understanding the Glycemic Index

The glycemic index is a 100 point scale used to measure the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Foods with a glycemic index in excess of 70 can cause a spike in blood sugar aggravating any conditions related to diabetes. Foods with a glycemic index of 55 or less create a more gradual increase.

 

But be Careful Out There

If you have a slice of pumpernickel bread with a glycemic index of 50 and top it with a tablespoon of grape jelly with a glycemic index of 85 you’re defeating the purpose.

 

Gluten Free is not Always the Answer

Some people are tempted to believe that a gluten free loaf will be low in carbohydrates. That’s not necessarily true. White rice flour is gluten free but relatively high in carbohydrates. If you must eat gluten free and are diabetic check the nutrition facts on the flour and assess the carbohydrates. You might also want to consult with your doctor or a dietician.

 

What is the Answer?

The American Diabetes Association recommends that flours used in breads should be high fiber, whole grains to keep blood glucose from spiking and to maintain optimal digestive health. Many whole grain flours are sold in the baking section, but you may need to peruse the health food aisle to consider your options. Flour examples include oat flour, whole wheat flour, brown rice flour (not white rice flour), bulgur flour, rye flour, and bran flour, among others.

 

So What Kind of Breads Should I Make?

Pumpernickel.

This traditional German bread is a dark-colored whole grain bread that always tops the lists of diabetic organizations recommending smart food choices for diabetics. It provides 1 gram of fat, has a glycemic index of 50 and 15 grams of carbohydrate per one ounce slice. It has a rye flour base.

 

Diabetic Pumpernickel Bread Recipe:

(Makes a 1.5 pound loaf)

1 - pumpernickel loaf 3 - pumpernickel sliced

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/8 cups warm water (110° F./43° C.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of instant coffee
  • 1 3/4 cups of rye flour
  • 1 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of bread machine yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Put all of the ingredients in the bread pan in the order indicated and select the whole wheat course, 1.5 pound loaf, and medium crust. When done, let rest for 10 minutes and serve. If you like you can seal in a large, one gallon plastic bag and refrigerate for additional servings later.

4 - pumpernickel sliced

 

Sourdough Bread

This traditional white bread has 1 gram of fat, a glycemic index of 53 and 37 grams of carbohydrates per one ounce slice. A benefit of sourdough bread is that it rises well due to the sourdough starter which you can buy or make yourself. We’ve included that recipe.

Many diabetic organizations also tout sourdough bread as good for diabetics but there is some debate. I’ve reduced the standard portion of sugar from 4 teaspoons to 2 teaspoons and had no problem growing the starter. You only use a fraction of the starter so you should be okay unless your glycemic index is very high. For the actual bread recipe I’m recommending the use of a natural or artificial sweetener rather than sugar. This is also a standard recommendation from some diabetic organizations.

Other sourdough recipes call for the use of bread flour but I’ve cut that in half using whole wheat flour in equal proportions.

 

Sourdough Starter Recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine or quick active dry yeast
  • 4 cups lukewarm water (110° F./43° C.)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. You’ll need to make your sourdough starter at least 1 week before making your first loaf of bread. This is why many people prefer to buy their sourdough starter already made.
  2. To make it yourself dissolve 1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast in warm water in a large, glass bowl. Whisk in the 3 cups flour and 2 teaspoons of sugar and either continue to whisk or beat with electric mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute or until the thin batter is smooth.
  3. Cover loosely with a damp washcloth and let stand at room temperature for about 1 week or until the mixture is bubbly and has a sour aroma. Don’t worry about re-moistening the washcloth, but keep the bowl covered as much as possible.
  4. The bubbles that you’ll see in the starter are caused by carbon dioxide gas. This what is released by yeast every time we bake and causes bread to rise. Transfer the starter to a 2-quart or larger nonmetal bowl or large glass jar with a lid. Cover it tightly and refrigerate the starter until you’re ready to use.
  5. After you’ve used the starter you can replenish it by adding a teaspoon of sugar and about 3/4 cup of flour, 3/4 cup of water and stirring it all together. Cover loosely and store in a warm place for at least a day.
  6. After a day refrigerate again. Remember as well that you need to let any refrigerated starter come to room temperature before using. It will expand a bit as it warms up and that’s okay.
  7. Once you have your sourdough starter established you’re ready to bake your first loaf of sourdough bread in your bread machine.

 

Sourdough Bread Recipe:

(Makes a two pound loaf)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup water (110° F./43° C.)
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons of natural sweetener like Stevia or artificial sweetener like Splenda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon bread machine or quick active dry yeast
  • 1 cup sourdough starter

DIRECTIONS:

Add ingredients to the bread pan in the order indicated in the recipe. Select the Basic White cycle for a 2 pound loaf and a medium crust. When the bread is done, cool it on a wire rack for 10 minutes and serve.

 

Multi Grain Bread Recipe:

(Makes a 1.5 pound loaf)

6 - multigrain sliced loaf 2 - multigrain whole loaf

A variety of multi grains can be used for this bread recipe. The fat grams and carbohydrates vary depending on the diversity of the grains, but typically average 1 gram of fat, a glycemic index of 56 to 69 and 20 grams of carbohydrates per one ounce slice.

This recipe was similar to a recipe from a diabetic organization and suggested 1 tablespoon of honey. I’ve marked that as optional. If there’s a grain you don’t like you can substitute one of the others grains in equal proportion.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 cup water (110° F./43° C.)
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of gluten (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 1/4 cup dry milk powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of bread machine yeast

DIRECTIONS:

Add all of the ingredients to the bread pan in the order indicated and select the whole wheat course, 1.5 pound loaf and medium crust. When done let it rest for 10 minutes and serve.

 

Conclusion

Hopefully you have some success with these recipes. Keep in mind that portion control is important. Just because it’s relatively low in carbohydrates you should adhere to the one slice rule. If you have questions you should consult with your General Practitioner or a dietician to discuss any and all ingredients you might use in a bread machine recipe in the future.

 

7 Helpful Products for Your Kitchen - Limited Offers!

Fridge Menu/Dinner Planner (Dry-Erase Whiteboard)

A complete set of 10″ x 16″ magnetic dry-erase menu/dinner planner for your refrigerator, one smaller whiteboard for grocery list, and 8 multicolor markers.

$21.95 $29.95

Limited offer! Get 10% OFF with our coupon code: 'SAVE10BREAD'
Fridge Menu/Dinner Planner (Wet/Dry-Erase Blackboard)

A complete set of 10″ x 16″ magnetic wet/dry-erase menu/dinner planner for your refrigerator (chalkboard), one smaller black board for grocery list, and 8 multicolor markers.

$24.95 $29.95

Limited offer! Get 10% OFF with our coupon code: 'SAVE10BREAD'
Premium 17 Inch (Standard Size) Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Holder - for Wall

Professional Magnetic Knife Strip - Space-Saving Knife Rack/Knife Bar With Powerful Magnetic Pull Force

$29.95 $44.95

Limited offer! Get 10% OFF with our coupon code: 'SAVE10BREAD'
Fridge Applicable (Double-Sided) 17 Inch Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Holder - for Fridge/Wall

Professional Double Sided Knife Strip For Refrigerator - Knife Rack/Knife Bar With Powerful Magnetic Pull Force

$39.95 $54.95

Limited offer! Get 10% OFF with our coupon code: 'SAVE10BREAD'
Premium 10 Inch (Small Size) Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Holder - for Wall

Professional Magnetic Knife Strip - Space-Saving Knife Rack/Knife Bar With Powerful Magnetic Pull Force

$21.95 $34.95

Limited offer! Get 10% OFF with our coupon code: 'SAVE10BREAD'
Premium 24 Inch (Large Size) Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Holder - for Wall

24 Inch Heavy-Duty Magnetic Knife Holder (Large Size) - Professional Space-Saving Knife Rack/Bar With Powerful Magnetic Pull Force

$44.95 $54.95

Limited offer! Get 10% OFF with our coupon code: 'SAVE10BREAD'
Magnetic Dry Erase Whiteboard for Refrigerator

Large Size Organizer for Grocery/to-Do Lists. Full Set of Two Whiteboards: 17.5 x 13.5 Inch & 12 x 8 Inch, 8 Markers and 1 Eraser

$23.95 $29.95

Limited offer! Get 10% OFF with our coupon code: 'SAVE10BREAD'
3 Comments
  1. Reply
    Caroline January 6, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    Hi despairing yet again. have had IBS since puberty & now 72. . . seemingly fit , healthy & young for my age. but blood tests over the last 12 yrs (though only the most recent brought to my attention) has shown an increased Amylase level. i.e. prediabetes. as usual have been left to work out myself the reason. it’s a combination of too much stress & sleep shortage caring for my very elderly lat mother + the ensuing battle with district nurses etc. also not knowing much about IBS except from my own experience. it’s been a race against time the last 18 mths finding ways of removing the terrible flatulence which caused the high sugar readings since had to repeatedly quell the gas with unecessary bowls of porrideg/ round-grained rice etc.. by luck i stumbled on ‘resistance starch’ & that helped. my evening meals consisted of classic protein & 2 veg (stir-fried dry) + the best white loaves from Sainsburys: just fermented naturally & with no added sugar. BUT they were made in Holland & frozen. the freezing caused the resistant starch. as soon as i gave the bread up, all my flatulence disappeared. also, the British NHS IBS advice is directly opposite to my own experience, but the equivalent Canadian one fits me to a T. that boosted my self-esteem & confirmed i shouldn’t feel guilty for never having found any sourdough which suited. that site recommends no fermented foods, no added bran, no wholemeal pasta. . . exactly my own experience. am fed up with the whorshippers of sourdough. Ok it’s good for some people, but most people dislike it, particularly my generation. probably because it contains both lactic & acetic acids which are not good for older or damaged digestions. & our forbears made yeast from boiled hops & potatoes, or the scum of beer, not sourdough. another great help, stumbled on by browseing in a bookshop, was discovering which of the 5 Ayuverdic types i was. it was so easy, just from my food preferences from childhood onwards . . .wholegrains, wholemeal bread, red meats, green veg, hard white cheeses & apples. your recipes have an alarming amount of yeast (terrible for older folks & unnecessary . . . partiularly when the flour is autolysed in warm/hot water for 2hrs) & overall in no way consider the real reason people become diabetic. IBS & diabetes have a close link . . . also cancer of the colon. have never had a sweet tooth or consumed cakes, sweetend youghurts etc.. but i do/ did have IBS. the sufferers of which don’t tolerate either oats or rye easily. so please bear these things in mind when developing recipes for people with prediabetes. huge increase in IBS in young people, but noone is taking up their cause. regards caroline

  2. Reply
    Roland Gilliam February 16, 2018 at 3:52 am

    I have a bred machine and am looking for a bread receipt to use for toast or to made sandwiches with. I wish to lower my sugar level to the 4.5 &5.25

    • Reply
      Colin Taylor April 5, 2019 at 12:23 am

      You have no chance.

    Leave a reply