Whole ‘lot of stuff’ loaf
I love cooking. There is no denying it when I’m scouring the internet, saving links from Punchfork (highly recommended, and you can select and narrow down recipes by dietary requirements – vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free) and Pinterest before doing my weekly shop, picking up free food guides in stores despite the fact I cannot read them (language barrier) and usually they feature ingredients I choose not to eat, as well of flicking through the pages of my favourite books. It’s a good job really, for many reasons, the general one being that we all need to eat and my boyfriend can count on one hand the recipes he can cook (which he once told me that he was pleased that I am Vegan because it means he can’t cook for me *queue cheeky grin*) which I will not eat. The others being that since becoming vegan I have been super interested in heightening my health and I am a strong believer that health, beauty and well being come from feeding yourself the best nutrients you can get hold of. This goes hand in hand with making your own food, which I have been meaning to share on here for a while.
This is a recipe I adapted through a blog post on The Diva Dish. It is not a blog I regularly read, but the images and the glorious sound of basil bread struck a chord when it sprung up on my pinterest feed. I am very glad it did as this turned out to be a delicious loaf which I could easily adapt and make my own. Looking at the set of ingredients I decided that I did not want to add so much sugar or as much butter/oil (honey in with the yeast and maple syrup) and of course omitting the egg as a glaze. As well as not having millet in the house. I did however have a fresh pot of basil and a few hours later the intoxicating smell of warm bread mingled with the aroma of basil was wafting through the house, I had made a great decision. Here’s a lesson in Norwegian, ‘nam’ is the norwegian for ‘nom’!
Here’s my adaptation.
1 X sachet of dry active yeast
1/2 or 120ml warm water
2 tsp honey
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp linseed oil
1 1/2 cups
3 cups/ 450g whole grain flour (I got confused in the supermarket and actually bought the whole grain type that wasn’t ground *language barrier*. So ground it myself with a coffee grinder)
3 cups/ 450g self raising flour (Please feel free to substitute a healthier alternative but I’d already got confused in the supermarket once…)
2 tsp salt
handfull of chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup or 75g of rolled oats
As much seeds as you like. I tossed in flax seed, pumpkin seed and sesame seeds.
soy/nut milk to glaze (optional)
Pre-cooking – Heat oven to 225C (Mine was set on fan)
1. Add together the 1/2 cup/120ml warm water, yeast and honey and leave to bubble and rise for 10 minutes. Make sure you have an adequate bowl for the rise, as I have learnt from experience that a yeast explosion isn’t great.
2. When the yeast has risen and become bubbly add your brown sugar, oil and 1 1/2 or 360 ml warm water and mix until well combined. If you have a mixer you may choose to use it here. I have a kitchen that’s a cupboard (not literally but it feels like it) so hand mixing all the way!
3. In a separate bowl combine the flour and salt. Add half to the liquid from stage two.
4. Add in all your seeds, basil, oats and anything else you fancy, now.
5. Continue to add your remaining flour until you create a lovely soft dough that isn’t sticky. Kneed on a floured surface for 5 minutes.
6. Place in a bowl and cover with a clean towel. Pick a warm place and leave it there to rise for at least an hour. I tend to turn up the underfloor heating in the bathroom and place it in there, but an airing cupboard, outside in the sun (lucky you) or an oven on a very low temperature are all ideal places too.
7. Punch the air out of it and lightly kneed for a few minutes. Now it is time to bake your breaded beauty! I chose to plate my loaf and then place it in a loaf tin as I figured it would look nice, but the choice is up to you. You could even make separate buns as suggested in ‘The Diva Dish’s original post. If plating roll your dough in a sausage shape the same length as your tin (or not if you are backing without a tin, in this case roll to your desired length), slice the dough length ways into three strips leaving 3 inches or so un-cut so that they are attached at the top. Start to plate!
8. (Optional) Glaze your loaf with a brush dipped in the milk (soy in my case), or egg for the non-vegan option.
9. Place into the middle shelf of the oven and cook for approximately 20-25 minutes depending on the shape and size of your loaf/buns.
10. Eat! Delicious warm with a little vegan butter, or with home-made hummus.
All Images – © Rebecca Hawkes 2012