Tuesday, June 26, 2012

100% whole wheat bread recipes (vegan & oil-free)

Since starting this new way of eating, I've had a much harder time finding recipes that fit these three important criteria:
  • vegan (V)
  • oil-free (O)
  • tasty (T)
And when it comes to bread, it's even harder to find recipes containing 100% whole grain ingredients because apparently, you can still call bread "whole wheat" even if it contains highly processed white flour (tasty though it may be).

Yes, I could simply buy bread, but though it may save time and effort, 100% whole grain, VOT bread is not cheap. Especially for a family of six. And I've been making my own bread for a few years now anyway.

So, I asked my friend Google to track down a recipe or two that met my stringent requirements. He came back with a few that were VOT but were not 100%. I could clearly see he needed a little more direction. Together, we finally found what I'd been looking for. And, here they are in case you, too, are in need of 100% whole VOT bread.

100% whole wheat, vegan, oil-free bread
The first is for one large loaf of bread (or two smaller ones). For the life of me, I couldn't find the original site where I discovered it and in an oversight, failed to bookmark the page. This may have been posted on the Engine2 discussion board. If this sounds like a recipe you saw on another site or posted yourself, please let me know so I can give credit where it is due.

24 oz warm water (not too hot or it will kill the yeast)
1 tsp salt
1 T honey
2-3 T dry active yeast (I use 3 yeast packages)
1/2 c vital wheat gluten
6 c. whole wheat flour

Mix the water, salt, honey and yeast together with 2 cups of flour, then let it sit for 10 minutes or until bubbly. (If you're mixing by hand, use a glass or ceramic bowl. If you're using a mixer, make sure you transfer the dough into a glass/ceramic bowl for the rising time.)

Add the wheat gluten to the mixture, then add in the remaining 4 cups of flour. You may need to knead in the last cup.

Knead for 6-10 minutes by hand or using a bread hook on your mixture. (Unless you have a machine specifically designed for kneading dough, you may want to knead by hand or risk burning out the motor on your standard mixer.)

Cover with a slightly damp cloth and let the dough rise for one hour or until nearly doubled.

Transfer dough to bread pan(s). (I use coconut oil to lightly grease mine, as a highly saturated fat it is more stable for cooking at high temperatures, therefore, less likely to be converted to a trans fat which is what might happen if you use a poly- or monounsaturated fat or cooking spray).

Let the dough rise in the pan(s) until it forms a nicely domed top.

Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees or 1 hour 10 minutes at 275 degrees. Why the difference? I've been doing some research on what cooking at high temperatures does to food. But that's a whole other article.

100% whole wheat, oil-free, vegan pizza dough
Again, I failed to bookmark this recipe, but I did adapt it slightly. I usually double this recipe to feed our family of six.

 2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 1/4 tsp. (one package) of dry active yeast
3/4 - 1.5 tsp. salt
1 c. warm water
1 T vital wheat gluten
1 T dairy free milk

Combine 2 cups of the flour with the remaining ingredients. Add in remaining flour slowly, stirring/kneading it in until the dough is smooth, elastic and no longer sticky. Knead for 5 minutes. Cover with a slightly damp cloth and let it rise for about 1 hour. Roll out to desired thickness. If a thicker, bready crust is desired, let it rise an additional 10 minutes.

Two options for baking:
1. Add toppings and bake on a greased baking sheet or one dusted with cornmeal at 500 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

2. (This is the one I currently use) Bake crust (no toppings) at 275 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Add toppings and bake for another 30-40 minutes. As with the bread, I take this approach because I'm experimenting with low-temperature cooking.

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