Did You Know Most Bread is Vegan?

A lot of people ask me if the baguette we are eating or the rustic loaf the avocado toast is made with is vegan and the chances are that yes it is. Generally speaking bread only has 4 ingredients: flour, water, yeast, salt. All of these ingredients are vegan. Hooray! Where you might run into some trouble is with breads that are enriched. Enriched usually implies the richness is coming from things like milk, eggs, honey, butter. All of these ingredients can easily be replaced if you make the breads yourself but if you are out and about and it’s important to you that they be free of any of these ingredients, then just ask.

Make Your Own Bread

The other option is to make your own! When I make my own bread and other foods I can be one thousand percent sure that it only contains the ingredients I put in it. Plus I get a profound satisfaction that I made it myself. This is a similar sense of satisfaction I get from changing my own bike tire, car tire (back when I used to have a car), fixing a random home appliance or canning enough tomatoes to last me until next year. I feel like fucking Super Woman. And in the case of making my own bread, it’s also something delicious I can share with people I love or want to impress.

Make it Easy!

Before I discovered this amazing recipe, I was always discouraged from making bread by all the kneading that has to happen. I hate kneading dough. I know some people find it meditative and enjoyable but I just don’t. So when I found this method that required ZERO KNEADING I was pretty excited! The 100% DIY loving hippie in me would love to make sourdough from my own starter that I could nurture and love and pass down through the generations like a precious heirloom. But I use instant yeast. I’m not saying never to bread made from starter, but not right now. Plus, all the recipes I’ve seen for loaves made from sourdough starter take like three days. I don’t have time for that shit right now. But god bless the people who do because it does make a great loaf of bread. You know what else does? Instant yeast and this recipe! Enjoy!

Delightful Recipe

Serves 4-6 and makes 1 loaf
Adapted from Many sources but mostly trial and error

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (NOT A FULL PACKET!)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (I use King Arthur but you can use any unbleached, unbromated, all purpose white flour)
  • 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour (same as above, keep separate)
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour (same as above, keep separate)
  • In a large bowl mix the 1 cups of AP flour, 1/4 cup of wheat flour, salt, yeast and water.  Mix until combined.  Cover loosely and let it sit out overnight (or for 4-8 hours).  The temperature in your kitchen will determine how long this will take.  If it’s cold in your house, you might need to let it sit for a bit longer.  You will know when it’s ready when the mixture has risen, become bubbly, fallen a bit and there is a pool of yeasty liquid in the bottom of the bowl under the bubbly, moist flour mixture.
  • Now that you have your mixture at the “sitting on liquid” or poolish stage, add the remaining 2 cups of flour (1 cup AP, 1 cup whole wheat) and mix well with a spatula.  Cover and let it rise for 6-8 hours or overnight.  Once again, the temperature in your house will determine the time.  The dough is ready when it has doubled in size and you can see large bubbles just below the surface.
  • Now you have two choices:
    • Choice 1: Bake the bread now.  Proceed to baking step.
    • Choice 2: Sprinkle top and edges with 2 Tablespoons of flour & fold sides into center all the way around the bowl.  Fold the dough over a few times.  Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator.  Pull it out and let it rise until it’s doubled in size when you are ready to bake.
  • Baking the bread: Put an oven safe dutch oven in the oven with the lid on it and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.  When the oven and pot reach 500 degrees carefully take the pot out and remove the lid.  Sprinkle dough’s top and edges with 2 Tablespoons of flour & fold sides into center all the way around the bowl.  Then carefully turn the dough ball into the pot with the seams of the folds down in the bottom of the pot.  Cover the pot and put it back in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.  Then take off the lid and let the loaf bake for an additional 8-10 minutes at 450 degrees F.  If your oven stays pretty hot you can also remove the lid, turn off the heat and then leave the bread in the residual heat of the oven for the 8-10 minutes.
  • Carefully remove pot out of the oven and turn the loaf out onto a rack to cool.  Enjoy in now or freeze the loaf by cutting into slices, putting it in a freezer safe air tight container and freezing.  Then you can grab slices out when you want them and defrost them by toasting or pan frying (yum!).
bread is vegan

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