One of the most well loved and well thumbed books on my kitchen bookshelf is The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions, co-authored by Celine Steen. It’s a book every vegan ought to have as a no-fail resource. So, of course I was thrilled at the chance to review Whole Grain Vegan Baking, written by both Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes. It’s any bread fiend’s dream. These women are miracle workers. Even though I consider myself an ardent bread-maker, I’d yet to master bread that’s soft and fluffy AND completely whole grain. I’ll be sharing that recipe with you below, (with permission of course), but first feast your eyes on some of the recipes I’ve tested since receiving my copy of Whole Grain Vegan Baking.
Two ingredients I haven’t worked with before in my kitchen have become near and dear to my heart after making some of these creations. Whole Grain Spelt Flour and Sucanat.
The spelt flour adds lightness and eliminates the need to cut whole wheat or other whole grain blends with all purpose white flour to make them less hefty. It’s an ancient form of wheat that is high in protein. It lends a subtle nutty flavor to foods.
Sucanat is a contraction of “Sugar Cane Natural”, It is a whole cane sugar. It’s made by crushing freshly cut sugar cane, extracting the juice and heating it in a large vat. It’s less refined than raw sugar and tastes much like brown sugar because of it’s high molasses content. It adds a lovely caramel flavor to the foods you bake it with. It is an excellent source of iron, calcium, vitamin B6, potassium and chromium, which helps balance blood sugar.
Savory Spinach Loaf made with Roasted Spanish Onions. I hadn’t made a savory quick bread before this one and now I wonder why! It made my socks go up and down. I swear it was much prettier than I could capture with the photos.
Did you used to be a “Cheese” Cracker fan too? These should help with the withdrawals…
This focaccia was every bit as tasty as one made from white flour. I’ll be making it again and again.
A less sweet treat than you might expect. This would go perfectly paired with a green smoothie for your breakfast (perhaps minus the icing in that case)
Now the moment you’ve been waiting for… Super soft and tasty, I didn’t believe this kind of tenderness was possible with all whole grains.
Whole Grain Burger Buns (and Sandwich Bread!)
Hats off to our friend Kelly Cavalier for thinking of using whole spelt flour instead of all-purpose flour in Celine’s recipe making this bread 100% whole grain, super soft, and even better than the original version.
- 1 cup (235 ml) lukewarm water
- 21⁄4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 22 to 44 g (1 to 2 tablespoons) molasses or barley malt syrup, to taste
- 210 g (11⁄2 cups) whole spelt flour
- 180 g (11⁄2 cups) whole wheat flour, more if needed
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) neutral-flavored oil
Combine the water, yeast, and molasses in a medium-size bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes for the yeast to activate. Place the flours and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the oil and yeast mixture on top.
Mix until a smooth and pliable dough forms, about 6 minutes. Add extra whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon (8 g) at a time, if needed.
Alternatively, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 minutes, adding extra whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon (8 g) at a time if needed, until the dough is smooth and pliable. Shape the dough into a ball, place back in the bowl, cover tightly with plastic, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 11⁄2 hours. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Gently deflate the dough. Divide it into 6 equal portions; shape into round burger buns. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 minutes, until puffed.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6). Carefully remove the plastic wrap from the buns.
Bake for 14 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown on top and sound hollow when the bottoms are lightly tapped. Let cool on a wire rack.
Yield: 6 burger buns
Serving Suggestions & Variations
Make a sandwich bread out of the dough by dividing it into 3 equal portions after the first rise, placing them in an 8 x 4-inch (20 x 10 cm) loaf pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5). Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.
Buy ”Whole Grain Vegan Baking” in paperback book on Amazon here or the Kindle version here
Visit Celine Steen at her site Have Cake Will Travel here
Visit Tamasin Noyes at her site Vegan Appetite here
For a chance to win a copy of this amazing cookbook, Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway! This contest is open to entrants in the USA and Canada only. You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Thursday the 18th of July to enter! I will notify the winner by email on Monday the 22nd. GO!!
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