Making bread can be tricky. I’ve seen so many recipe variations out there that it can be overwhelming! Many recipes call for soakers, spongers, waiting days for dough to rise, punching the dough down multiple times, putting dough in the fridge and so many other possibilities. But I usually try to find something that is fairly quick and easy. All I can say is if you have any problems, try again and be willing to make variations in the recipe! Some of the instructions will come with caveats or possible modifications. Check back over time as I may try different things and make it better. I can’t predict what every variation might turn out like as I’ve only tried a few.
If you don’t have vital wheat gluten you can try it without. I need to try some more variations and see what works best, it’s supposed to help with the texture as whole wheat flour has a harder time developing gluten. I also read it’s not really necessary depending on how fine the flour particles are. So we’ll see.
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar (any sweetener should do)
1 cup warm water (~110 deg. F). I use warm water from my tap (filtered/softened well water).
2 cups of whole wheat flour (I use Speerville Organic). Before measuring stir up the flour to loosen as it can get compacted.
1 tsp salt (this is optional if you eat the bread with other things like jam, without salt the bread itself is a little bland if not toasted)
1/2 tbsp of vital wheat gluten, optional and depends on whole wheat flour used.
Put water in bowl and add yeast and sugar, stir a couple times to mix. Let sit for 10 minutes. Yeast should bloom, you’ll see it go across the top of the water. If it doesn’t the yeast might be dead or the water was too hot/cold.
Put the flour, vital wheat gluten (if using) and salt in a bowl, mix thoroughly with a spoon (I eventually dive in with my hands once a ball starts to form). Add the flour mixture slowly to the water/yeast mixture and mix until it starts to forms a ball. It will be a bit sticky (was for me in a humid climate). If you’ve added all the flour and it’s still really sticky add some more flour slowly as you mix with your hands. The flour/water ratio can vary depending on brand of flour. The dough should have a little stickiness but still be workable. Knead the dough for a few minutes. I did this is the bowl as I added flour. I aim for a play-dough like feel. Cover the bowl in a damp cloth and let the dough rise for an hour (or more if you have time). I found it stop rising after a certain point so it didn’t seem worth waiting any longer.
Take the dough out and lay on a 11×17″ baking tray lined with a silpat non-stick baking sheet. If you have parchment paper you can use that. Roll the dough out with your hands so that it forms a long thin baguette shape, almost touch the ends of baking tray. Score the baguette using a sharp knife – basically make 1/2 inch deep cuts that are roughly 6 inch long slices in the bread at a slight angle to the bread lengthwise, a few inches apart (see above photo, my scoring technique still needs work!)
When ready to bake the bread, preheat oven to 425F, covering the dough with the damp cloth again until ready to bake. Put an oven-safe baking dish with 1 cup of water on the bottom rack of the oven. The steam will create a good crust on the bread. When the oven is heated put the dough in the oven on the non-stick baking tray (I use silpat sheet). Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven) until a good crust is formed and when sticking a knife in the bread it should come out with no dough on it. When the bread looks cooked I turn off the oven and leave it in there to cool with the oven door open which can increase the crispiness. You can spray water on the dough halfway through baking as well which helps form a thick crust, which is the best part of this baguette! Toasting this makes it even better either in a toaster or in the oven.
You can double this recipe to make a loaf of crusty bread as well, if you have a loaf tin which I need to get now!
Thanksgiving can be tasty, filling, healthy and cruelty free with these recipes. Please also see the videos posted below.
4 cups of blueberries (I use wild blueberries from here in New Brunswick)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 package of pectin (57g = 2 oz Certo)
Put blueberries in a pot with the lemon juice and pectin and bring to a boil on high heat. I mash the blueberries with a plastic potato masher but they tend to break down in the pot, or you could use a food processor. I like there to be chunks of berries in my jam but you could blend more if you like it smooth. I stir occasionally and it’s better to just watch this the whole time as it doesn’t take very long. Boil for a minute and then take off the heat, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. It should thicken as it cools. Put in a jar and seal, then put in the fridge to cool. I find this is sweet enough with the natural sugars, the pectin box suggests 5 cups of sugar, whoa!!
In most of my recipes there is one main thing that is important and that I want to bring to light. In this case it’s that you can easily mash some beans together and add any required spices and you will have a decent burger! I try to reduce the stress that people have about cooking – I rarely measure amounts and so feel free to vary the amounts or change/add your own spices below (chipotle powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, etc). This recipe was inspired by The Vegan Corner, a great channel you should check out.
I made these today and really enjoyed them. Shoutout to Jill at Simple Daily Recipes for the inspiration! I had to cook the cabbage for quite a while to soften so I changed the recipe up a little bit, as well as added hot sauce and no extra maple syrup as the barbecue sauce I use already has sugar in it.
Ingredients (makes about 2 sandwiches):
1/2 head of green cabbage (or more, it shrinks up quite a bit!)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup of bbq sauce (find a no oil version)
1 tbsp of hot sauce (optional)
Crusty whole grain buns (or your favourite buns)
Pre-heat the oven to 350F if you want to toast up your buns a little. Chop up the cabbage into small strips. I like the strips to be fairly narrow and short (1″ long) as they soften better. With long strips I found I had to pull them out of the sandwich quite a bit as it wasn’t easy to bite through the cabbage. Put a large pot on the stove and turn to medium high heat. Add the chopped cabbage and the water. Cover to soften the cabbage for up to 30 minutes (do a taste test to make sure they’re soft). If the water disappears add a little more to keep steaming the cabbage. When the cabbage is getting soft add the barbecue sauce and optional hot sauce and stir to mix well. Throw the buns in the oven for 5 minutes or so to warm up and toast a bit if you want. Turn up the heat on the stove to high to caramelize the sugars in the barbecue sauce and thicken the sauce. If the sauce is watery keep cooking at high heat to evaporate off some of the liquid before serving.
Remove from heat and add the barbecue cabbage to the buns and serve. Yummy!
4-5 medium potatoes
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Italian herb seasoning (oregano/basil) – use more to coat the fries as desired
1 tsp Lawry’s seasoning salt (optional)
Wash 4-5 medium potatoes and cut into chunks, enough to cover a 11×17″ baking tray. Put pieces into a bowl and mix with the spices above so everything is coated. The spices will stick to the potatoes since they are a bit wet inside and starchy. Bake at 450 degrees F on a non-stick baking tray no oil or spray for half an hour or more until browning and crispy. I do up to 40 minutes many times to get them really crispy. You can put down a layer of parchment paper as well. I usually eat this with my tofu scramble recipe.
-2 or more potatoes (I use yellow-fleshed/Yukon Gold).
Pre-heat waffle iron or grill (I use Cuisinart 5-in-1 griddle). Use the grill (with bumps not the fat griddle) so it leaves grill marks 🙂
Cook potatoes until soft using your favourite method (eg. steaming, microwave) then put on the grill and squash down with the top plate. Cook until the skin has nice grill marks and the skin is crispy, 5 minutes or more. I also press down the handles every now and again to increase the pressure. Eat plain, with my brown gravy recipe, top with your favourite spices (paprika, pepper, etc), top with salsa or my vegan tzatziki sauce and chives.
I eat these with my vegan tzatziki sauce in a whole wheat tortilla. I put pickles, hot banana peppers, tomatoes and lettuce in the wrap as well. Inspired by The Vegan Corner but made for lazy people like me lol.
This recipe only uses dry ingredients because I rarely buy fresh herbs other than cilantro these days, I find many fresh herbs too strong and this way there’s less to chop!
Ingredients (Makes 12 falafel balls). I rarely measure things but here goes:
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp onion powder
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ cup breadcrumbs (enough to coat the falafels). The breadcrumbs don’t stick that well to the falafels (they don’t have my flour/water mixture coating) but do what you can. I bake 5 whole wheat bread slices at 350F until crispy and blend in Vitamix often with a little onion and garlic powder. Save the extra for things like cauliflower wings 🙂
Blend the chickpeas in a food processor. I used a blender which isn’t great but it works (blenders are best for mostly wet things). Put in a bowl and then add the other ingredients. Mix well. Let sit for 10 or so minutes in the fridge. Scoop into balls and roll in breadcrumbs then place on Silpat non-stick baking sheet. Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes. They tend to break apart in the wrap but they still taste yummy!