Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vegan Wheat Bread

You might be wondering what in homemade bread could possibly be non-vegan. I would have wondered the same thing, had I not spent way too much time when I should have been grading papers searching the Internet for the perfect wheat bread recipe. Nearly every ingredient list I came upon listed something that didn't jive with my anti-dairy diet, usually powdered milk. Apparently, the fat content of powdered milk helps lighten the density of wheat flour. At least, that's what the Internet tells me and, as we all know, the Internet is never wrong. 

While I could probably do the math and figure out the soymilk equivalent of powdered milk, that seemed like a lot of math. So instead, I kept looking for a recipe that was easy, straight forward, and naturally vegan. And friends - my relentless search paid off. 

I followed the recipe exactly, with two exceptions. First, I substituted two tablespoons of Earth Balance for the shortening, mostly because I don't use shortening in anything else and didn't want to buy it for one recipe. My bread didn't seem to suffer for this swap. Second, I let my loaves rise for too long, and they ended up tasting more like a sourdough than a wheat bread. This was fine with me, because I love sourdough bread. Next time, though, I will not double book my second rising with softball practice, just to see the difference. 

And in case you didn't notice, I am finally back in the habit of baking bread once a week. If you have any good recipes to recommend, feel free to share them in the comments. Mostly because I really do need to get this grading done.