This bread is perfect for sandwiches at lunch time... Try piling on some of the deli slices from vegan companies such as Lightlife or Tofurkey. It requires 4 separate rises, so make the bread when you have other things to do about your home during all the waiting time.
To start, combine 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee and 1/2 cup stout beer (both between 100 and 110 degrees) in a bowl. Dissolve in one packet of yeast (2 and 1/4 tsps), and let stand 5 minutes. The original recipe called for Guinness stout, which is not vegan-friendly, so use a different stout. One to try that's easy to find: Sierra Nevada Stout.
Spoon one cup whole wheat flour into a measuring cup, leveling with a knife. Add to the yeast mixture, along with 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ (sold near other baking goods in the grocery store), and stir until combined. Cover and let stand 30 minutes. This will form a 'sponge' which is a way to add texture and flavor to a bread recipe, providing a more developed yeast flavor than in bread recipes that don't include this step.
Spoon 1 and 1/4 cups bread flour into measuring cups, leveling with a knife. Add to the sponge, along with 1 teaspoon salt, and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 minutes (punch dough down with your palm, fold over, quarter turn, repeat!). Add 1/4 cup more bread flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands, although it will still be tacky by the end.
Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the top; cover and let rise for 1 hour until doubled in size (as always, the ideal conditions for rising are a place free from drafts and a temperature of about 85 degrees).
Punch the dough down, then cover it again, and let rise a second hour. Punch the dough down, and let rest for 5 minutes.
Shape the dough into an 8-inch oval on a baking sheet sprinkled with 1 tablespoon of cornmeal. Spray the top of the dough with cooking spray; cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
Cut a shallow 1/4-inch slit down the center of the loaf, then put it in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes (it should sound hollow when tapped). Cool on a wire rack. Now cut into 14 slices and enjoy! Each slice is 120 calories.
(Note: do try to use bread flour for the recipe instead of all-purpose, provided you can find it. It is a high-gluten flour that helps the yeast work, and provides for a better texture to your final result. Two brands to try: King Arthur's Bread flour at www.kingarthurflour.com or Bob's Red Mill White flour, specially made for bread baking:
stout beer $11.11 - but for a six pack, leaving 5 to enjoy!
toasted wheat germ $3.99
bread flour $5.99
The Vegan Pantry
- Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
- Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
- Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
- Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
- Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
- Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html