Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hearty Wheat Bread

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 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

No comments:

The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance