Monday, November 12, 2012

Vegan Wheat Sandwich Loaf

Even though I am not a vegan, I adore vegan food. I think making vegan food palatable is one of the hardest challenges for home cooks. My family is not vegan, but since we usually go out being such an adventurous little bunch in trying out new restaurants on weekends, I prefer we eat seriously healthy food during weekdays. Yin-yang, I believe, is the key to have everything in balanced order.

This Vegan Sandwich Loaf is a quickie to make and it’s so full of fiber because of the massive amount of wheat bran. I forgot where I originally saw this recipe. Perhaps it was on www.bobsredmill.com but it was a milk loaf and required some melted butter. So I fooled around with the recipe and make it my signature wheat sandwich loaf. Nowadays a single wheat sandwich loaf, which only God knows how little wheat contained in it, cost more than twenty thousand rupiah or more than $2 dollars. What insane price!

I said to myself, “Girl, think about how much money you’d save by making bread yourself. You can even buy newer and cooler gadgets!”

Oops :D

Actually there is a reason behind my fondness for healthy bread. And it wasn’t all health issue. When you have started your motherhood’s journey, you’d notice that each one of your children will have their own preference in food. No doubt you will try to provide them with what they love on your everyday meal. When Amiko was 3 yo, I started incorporating more fiber in her daily meals. She was hooked on the earthy, savory, somehow mellow taste of whole wheat bread. I still bought my bread back then and whenever I gave her a piece of white bread, unless she was extremely hungry, she’d complain like an old lady who lost her glasses only to find those on her head. So she IS the main reason.

Making our own bread is not only healthier; it tastes a whole lot better. Until this very moment I’m confused on why people would regularly buy over-priced bread, and other foods, with vegetable shortening, improver (what’s to improve?), and other chemical compounds written SO clearly on the list of ingredients. But then again, that’s just me, and Jamie Oliver, and millions of concerned moms around the planet called earth, that apparently have the habit of reading what is on the ingredients’ list.

Okay, let the kneading begin!

Makes 1 delicious loaf

Ingredients
180gr all purpose flour
40gr wheat bran
140gr whole wheat flour
½ cup soy milk, room temperature
5 tbs grapeseed oil or other vegetable oil
½ cup water, lukewarm
3 tbs sugar (If your soy milk is unsweetened, 2 tbs if sweetened)
1 ¼ tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast

How To 

Mix all dry ingredients together. Add the blend of soy milk and grape seed oil then mix the liquid and dry ingredients with a spoon. Transfer the lumpy dough on your work space, knead with your hand for 6-8 minutes adding a tablespoon or two of water if the dough is too dry.


Transfer the kneaded dough to a lightly oiled bowl and proof around 1 hour to one and a half hour until it's almost doubled in size. Do not overproof the dough.

Picture 1-6: Shape your loaf. Remember to oil your work space and to not PRESS the dough too hard as you will squeeze all the precious air bubbles. Deflating with tenderness, is how I call it, is crucial especially in step 2.

Step 7: Put your shaped loaf in an 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan. I made a mistake here by accidentally oiled my 9 ½ x 5 ½ inch loaf pan and was too lazy to get the right sized one. But apart from that, all was swell. Lightly oil the cling wrap and cover the loaf pan.

Step 8: Proof about 1 hour until it rises almost 2-3 cm above the rim of the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes in a 175C oven.


Done! 

Do leave it alone until it cools because you really, really need to slice them nicely and neatly as this is meant to be used as sandwich bread and to achieve the 'clean' cut, you best let them cool first.

Now that it's cool, shall we hold our breath to neatly slice them and check how the crumbs look like?


*Exhale happily*


Nope, I do not own a bread slicer. It just happens that I recently bought a new serrated knife. It was a buy-one-get-one colorful stuffs sold in Informa. Yup, that knife and a lot of breath holding in practicing how to slice evenly.

Now get your calculator and start counting on how much money you'd save by making your own loaf. Not only you save money, but you save yourself and your family from consuming unnecessary preservatives and additives.

Oh, the joy of homemade loaf!

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