Bread time! Vegan bread, time. To be honest, it’s only vegan out of necessity, but hey, I like vegan, so I’m good with that. I don’t keep regular milk in the house, so my almond milk would have to do for this.
It’s a pretty simple recipe, took me no time to put together, and allowed me to smell freshly baking bread (which is even better than eating bread in my opinion… go ahead, call me crazy).
- 1 cup almond milk (or soy–or 2%, if you aren’t interested in vegan)
- 1/2 packet of yeast (about 1.25 tsp)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 and a 1/4 cups whole wheat all-purpose flour (additional for kneading)
- 1/4 cup of oatmeal (plus additional for sprinkling on top, optional)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried rosemary (optional, but I think it would be lovely with a bread for dinner, or a healthy lunch sandwich)
- non-stick cooking spray
Warm the almond milk in a small saucepan to no more than 100 degrees F (40 degrees C). Sprinkle the yeast over-top and let stand until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam, about 5 minutes; stir in the sugar.
Whisk the whole wheat flour, oatmeal, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre, and pour the milk mixture into the well. Stir until the dough has pulled together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-6 minutes should do it.
Lightly oil a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place (80 to 95 F) until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
My warm place happened to be my NOT TURNED ON oven.
Grease a 8×4-inch loaf pan. Deflate the dough (I just gave mine a good punch in the centre, strangely therapeutic :P) and turn it out onto a lightly-floured surface. Shape it into a loaf and let it rest for 10 minutes. Place into the prepared pan, brush with the tiniest bit of olive oil (or honey, if you want a sweeter bread), then sprinkle with a tiny bit of oats and pat them into the surface gently (UPDATE: you can most definitely go for olive oil or honey as a topping and get a wonderful flavour, but neither makes anything stick. To see what does, see my post on experimenting with bread). Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 350 F, then bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Does this not look amazing?! I expected it to be more dense, but it turned out pleasantly light and crusty. A truly scrumptious vegan bread.