Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Prairie Fields Wheat and Soy Bread

I nearly had a disaster making this recipe, but luckily managed to salvage it! The original recipe instructions and amounts made enough for 3 loaves of bread. However, whether because my bowl wasn't large enough to stir together the flour and the wet ingredients adequately, or because I simply have never worked with that much dough before, I had an enormous gloppy mess on my counter top that was so wet and gooey it would never be kneaded into real bread dough.

Luckily, I thought to myself, well, if the original recipe makes 3 loaves, I can cut all the ingredients into 1/3 and still manage to make one loaf! So I recommend following the quantities listed below for one loaf of this delicious, traditional 19th century bread recipe... If you feel more ambitious later on, triple the quantities and make 3 loaves; once made, you can freeze them for up to 3 months. Slices are delicious alongside a hot bowl of soup, or for sandwiches.

One last thing before we get started: there are 3 types of flour used below - bread flour, whole wheat flour, and soy flour (which has a nice high protein content!). For all three, spoon into measuring cups and level with a knife, to ensure the greatest accuracy.

Combine 1 cup bread flour in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast (note: this is less than one convenient yeast package, which contains about 2 and 1/4 teaspoons, so measure it out).

Add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (between 100 and 110 degrees), 3 tablespoons agave nectar (in place of honey) and 2 tablespoons olive oil to the mixture. Stir well to combine.

Add 2/3 cups more bread flour, 1 and 1/3 cups whole wheat flour, and 1/3 cup soy flour. Stir until a soft dough forms, then turn out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes, although I stopped after about 4 because my dough got very tacky), adding about a tablespoon and a half more bread flour as needed so the dough doesn't stick to your hands. To knead the dough; punch down with your palm, fold over, turn a quarter turn, and repeat!

Place the dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the top. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. Punch the dough down; cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Working on a floured surface, roll the dough into a 14x7-inch rectangle. Starting from one short end, roll the dough up, pressing to eliminate any air pockets, and press along the seam and the ends to seal.

Place, seam-side down, in a 9x5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from the pan and brush the top with 1 teaspoon melted vegan butter (such as Earth Balance). Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Cut into 12 slices - 150 calories each. So what if I managed only to get one loaf out of this recipe, instead of the intended 3, because I was quite pleased with the results.

soy flour $3.99
yeast packages $2.69
agave nectar $3.99
olive oil $6.39

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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