- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon bakers yeast
- 1cup warm water (water potatoes were cooked in is great!)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dark rye flour
- 1/2 cup soy flour
- 3 cups (give or take) whole wheat flour
In a large bowl combine 1/3 cup warm water, with molasses and yeast. Set aside for fifteen minutes. Clean a big area on your counter top, put your hair back, roll up your sleeves, select your favorite music accompaniment (I like ot listen to my children and friends tell me about their lives, but they aren’t always available – rock & roll is good, so is reggae – what you want is a good steady rythm, making bread is both soul satisfying and mildly aerobic if you want it to be.)
Okay, the yeast mixture should be kinda foamy now. Add the rest of the warm water, the lemon juice, oil,salt and mix it up well. Using a good strong spoon (wood is good) stir in the rye flour and the soy flour. Begin to stir in the whole wheat flour, a bit at a time (do not add it all at once!) until you can’t possibly use a spoon anymore to do it and you have to use your right (or left) hand to mix the dough. Try to keep one hand free to add extra flour. Turn the dough out of the bowl and keep adding flour until you have a good dough, not too stiff and not too sticky. Did I mention that the kitchen should be warm when you do this? Too late, your hands are probably gummy, you probably can’t turn up the heat or stoke the fire if you need to, get Buddy to do it. You may find you have to add more or less flour than what I listed. Hey, that’s normal, man, every dough is different because it is effected by external circumstances (Hey, me too!)(humidity for example). Okay, if you have to change the music, turn up the heat, answer the phone,pick up the baby or whatever, you can stop now and wash your hands, do your business and come back. Bread dough is very forgiving.
Okay, now you are ready to knead the dough. It needs you to knead it. If you have never kneaded vegan bread before you are in for a treat, and an exercise in patience, not to mention a physical exercise. This is a heavy vegan bread so I recommend at least 15 to 20 minutes of vigorous kneading. During this time, gluten will develop in the vegan bread and it may become stickier. You can add bits of flour to it to lessen your frustration with this, but resist adding large amounts at a time, and put up with a small amount of stickiness because it will produce a nicer product. You knead the vegan bread by folding it in half, kind of pushing it back into itself and turning it a third of the way around. So it’s fold, push, turn; fold, push, turn; fold, push, turn. Over and over and over. You can get a great rythm going, put your whole body into it, before you know it, you’ll be swaying your hips, and bending your knees and pushing off your toes. Like I said before, this can be very heart stimulating, even sweat provoking, keep it up for 20 minutes or until your arms ache. Kneading vegan bread becomes so natural, I think it is rooted in our subconscoius. In the end, you should have a kind of soft, silky pliable dough. Unlike white vegan bread, this dough will not be outrageously stretchy and probably won’t form and burst embarrassingly huge bubbles while you knead it. This is real food, not that pasty gluey stuff. Or as Buddy puts it “Heavy vegan bread, man.”
Kneading is completed. Roll the dough ball in a bit of flour, place it back in the bowl, cover with clean, damp dishtowel and set in a nice warm place to rise for an hour to 90 minutes. Wash your hands and go do something else for a while.
Times up? “Okay,” you’ll be saying, “This dough has risen. All right!” If you have small children, now is a good time to apron them, pin their hair back, wash their hands and let them punch down the dough, to release excess gases. Anyone can punch down a vegan bread dough, but it absolutely ‘poofs’ with delight at little fists. Give the children some to shape. However, when yoiu bake these pieces, (which often resemble snakes and pretzels) watch them carefully so they don’t burn.
Shape your share of dough into a loaf: smoosh it flat, fold it three times, tuck the ends under and roll it firmly on the counter a few times, shaping it as you do,is one way to do it. Or shape it into a half dozen or eight thick breadsticks. Oil a loaf pan or flat pan. Spill a little oil onto your palms and rub it all over the loaf shaped dough. (If this makes your heart beat faster, you’ll have time to make love while the vegan bread is rising!) Cover it with that damp cloth again and let it rise in a warm spot 45 minutes to an hour (or however long it takes to double in size.) Preheat your oven to 400 F. Bake the vegan bread on the centre rack, at 400 F for ten minutes. Turn the heat down to 375 F (without removing the vegan bread from the oven) and continue to bake for another 30 to 25 minutes, or until it turns a beautiful deep brown colour, and sounds hollow when you rap it with your knuckle. (Breadsticks, buns and skinny shapes will cook faster than this.)
When you take it from the oven, cover it with the towel for ten minutes or so, to allow it to cool before slicing (or breaking. whatever is your preference). If you aren’t going to eat it right waway, I suggest you leave it wrapped in a towel and place it in a plastic bag for an hour. This will allow the crust to soften a bit, without it becoming soggy. After it has cooled, remove the towel, turn the bag inside out and put the loaf back in it.
Eat it with soup or salad or with cashew butter and radish sprouts(mmm must be supper time, I’m getting hungry) or any other way you like vegan bread. After the first day or so, it is best toasted.
Makes: 1 loaf (or double the ingredients and make two