Generally, my book club meets around food, and we try to cook based on a theme. This past meeting the theme was Southern food, having just finished reading The Kitchen House (excellent book, if a bit depressing–but those are my favorite kind). In addition to Southern food, a friend recently discovered allergies to soy, gluten, dairy and eggs, which created a great challenge for me. Vegan cornbread that is also gluten free.
After digging around online a bit, here’s the recipe I tried. It was good. The texture was correct, the only thing lacking for me was … corn. It didn’t have a ton of corn flavor. I wonder if the proportions of corn meal to other flours needs to be adjusted a bit. Oh, and I didn’t add the onion or garlic because I really don’t like extra stuff in my cornbread. That could also have contributed to the flavor lacking a bit. The moisture content was correct for cornbread, though, which has been the problem for me in the past with gluten-free baked goods. Its the first loaf of gluten-free bread I’ve ever made, time to keep trying!
Gluten-free cornbread 2.75/5 slices
The second of my two-breads-in-one-week–Brown Sugar and Maple Pinwheels. At least, I believe that was the official name. Again, from Veganomicon. I think the word orange should be in there somewhere, because these have a lot of orange flavor. They are really good, but for a breakfast-type sweet pastry, I’d rather have a cinnamon roll.
They’re topped with an orange glaze, which I whipped by hand, that’s why it looks a bit strange. Vegan cream cheese doesn’t exactly smooth out unless it’s in a blender.
Brown Sugar and Maple Pinwheels 4.5/5 slices (buns?)
You get two bread recipes this week because last week our furnace was busted–it was far too cold in the house to have a hope that something would rise. So this week, with the furnace running again, I made two different bread products. Here’s No. 1: Rosemary Focaccia. It’s from Veganomicon, and I can’t find it online, so go buy the book–it’s my favorite vegan cookbook.
I thought it was good, but a little too crusty for me. Hubs liked it more than I did.
Rosemary Focaccia 4/5 slices
We were gone over the weekend–it was the hubs’ birthday trip to Las Vegas–so I didn’t have a chance to make anything too complicated. Instead, Monday night meant comfort food, including these biscuits. They are really good just the way they are, but I think I’m going to try them again with some Daiya. I want to see if I can get closer to the Red Lobster cheesy biscuits. Remember those? Sometimes the crappiest food is the best stuff.
Vegan Popeye’s Biscuits
2 cups vegan Bisquick
4 ounces vegan sour cream
3 ounces club soda
Mix the Bisquick, sour cream and soda (I honestly estimated amounts and just kept adding Bisquick slowly until the dough was biscuit-y looking). Press the dough out on a floured surface until it’s about 1/2-inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter, or use a glass like I did. Put your biscuits on a buttered cookie sheet. I keep re-pressing the dough to get as many biscuits as possible. I think in the end it made around 15 biscuits.
Bake them off in a 450-degree oven until they are a lovely light brown color. You can butter the tops before you bake them, and do it again right before they’re done cooking if you want.
The original recipe is here.
Fast, easy, and best right out of the oven. I love these.
Popeye’s Biscuits 4.25/5 slices
What to do with leftover bananas? Bread, of course. I dug through a bunch of recipes and settled on this one, mostly because everything else PPK does is fantastic. It is good banana bread, but I’m not a huge fan of the cinnamon in it. Cinnamon is meant for cinnamon rolls, not banana bread. Anyway, recipe is here.
Banana Bread 3.75/5 slices
I’m behind in these. So there will be two bread posts in one week, because despite not posting, I actually did make two kinds of bread. Up first, overnight buns, a recipe of my moms that I veganized. It isn’t perfect, since it’s missing all the eggs that usually make these really fluffy. I did come across this, however, so I have some more non-egg options to try next time I make these.
Combine 4 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Add 1/2 cup of vegan shortening and 1/2 cup of vegan butter. Boil for 5 minutes, then cool to lukewarm.
Add 1 packet of yeast, the equivalent of 4 eggs from Egg Replacer (whip this first), 1 tablespoon salt and 12-13 cups of flour.
Let double in volume, then punch down. Do that again.
Then form into buns and put on greased cookie sheets (or cake pans, or pie plates … this makes a lot, I usually use whatever I happen to have on hand) and let rise overnight.
Bake in the morning at 350 degrees until they’re golden brown and yummy. Best right out of the oven, in my opinion.
Overnight Buns 4/5 slices (uh, buns)
All right. Week 3. Going for something good this week. Two duds is too many. How about Vegan Granola Bread. Sure, why not? Best part–no yeast. Good thing, since it’s cold in Seattle (cold enough to snow, ugh). I didn’t change the recipe at all, so click through for it. I will say it took much longer than the stated 40 minutes in the oven. More like 60 to 70 minutes. In the end, the top was a bit burned and the middle fell, but it tastes good and when it’s sliced it’s harder to tell it isn’t a beautiful loaf of bread. I think this is going to be great for a quick breakfast in the morning.
Oh–if you can’t get the coconut oil out of the jar (because you’re at the bottom of the jar and the spoon isn’t quite long enough) run it under hot water for awhile.
Love this mixer. Here, melted coconut oil and agave nectar.
This bread is more of a banana bread-type loaf, rather than something like a white or wheat.
See? Ugly. That hole is me trying to figure out if the middle is finished.
But slice it, and look how pretty!
Vegan Granola Bread 4/5 slices.
I learned a lot in this week’s bread adventure.
1. Hot Cross Buns really are a thing.
2. Hot Cross Buns really have a cross on top.
3. Hot Cross Buns are actually an Easter food.
4. In the famous rhyme, the seller of Hot Cross Buns needs a lesson in economics.
5. The above video has the creepiest animation. Why are the children so much larger than the baker?
6. If you heat your soy milk too much, it kills the yeast and you end up with sweet, round bricks instead of Hot Cross Buns.
Hot Cross Buns (click the link for the recipe I used)
So, week 2:
Hot Cross Buns 1/5 slices. (This would be higher if said buns has risen properly. And I see a flaw in my rating system. Not all bread comes in slices.)
For Christmas this year, my hubs bought me a Kitchen Aid mixer. So domestic, isn’t it? (I bought him a frying pan. Guess where we spend a lot of time?) I have a million things i want to make with it, but decided it would be fun to have a goal of 52 kinds of bread by the end of the year. One kind each week. This is last week’s bread (I’m a bit behind on blogging. Sorry. It was a trying week.)
Rapid Mix Cool Rise White Bread from … the cookbook that came with the mixer!
We were busy last weekend, so I needed something fast–and something with all the ingredients on hand, so this was a winner. It was already vegan, making it even easier, though in the future I want to purposely try and veganize some bread recipes. Anyway, here’s the recipe:
Makes 2 loaves
6-7 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup butter, softened (Earth Balance for me)
2 cups very warm water (120-130 degrees F)
Place 5 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, yeast and butter in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 20 seconds. Gradually add warm water and mix about 1 1/2 minutes longer.
Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Knead on Speed 2 about 2 minutes longer.
Cover dough with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rest 20 minutes.
Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in greased loaf pans. Brush with oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2-12 hours.
When ready to bake, uncover dough carefully and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Puncture any gas bubbles which may have formed. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.
With the two loaves, I made the first one in french toast since the top got slightly too brown for my liking. The second loaf we’ve been eating as toast. It’s pretty dense bread, and overall not my favorite. I never know with bread, however, because our house is so cold in the winter months I have a hard time getting things to rise. Although this says it’s cool rise, I wonder if the temperature of the house prior to putting it in the fridge has any effect.
The french toast recipe I used was from Vegan with a Vengeance–”Fronch” Toast. I have to be honest–it wasn’t my favorite. I found it didn’t have a lot of flavor. I’m not going to post the recipe here, and I love everything else about that book, and all of her other books, so I feel a bit bad. The one thing I did like was using soy creamer. I think other recipes I’ve tried haven’t done that, and it helps coat the bread slices nicely.
So, week 1:
Rapid Mix Cool Rise White Bread 2/5 slices.
Vegan with a Vengeance “Fronch” Toast 2/5 slices.