Whole Wheat Vegan Bread

Anyone familiar with my blog or me personally knows that I am most definitely not a vegan. Although I don’t consume all that much meat, I cannot imagine my life without eggs and dairy. I am amazed by the leavening and emulsifying properties contained within one tiny little egg, and fascinated by all the different things that can be created from milk. So why am I—lover of all things butter and cheese—making vegan bread?

Well, this particular batch of bread was being turned into appetizers for a party where at least one vegan friend of mine would be in attendance. However, the decision to make vegan-friendly food stems from the frustration I felt in my vegetarian days—towards soup, in particular. Nine times out of ten, I’d grab what looked like a promising vegetarian soup from the grocery store shelf, only to scan the ingredients and see the words “CHICKEN STOCK.” And I’d mutter a string of curses at the soup can and shove it back where it came from. I would run into the same issue at restaurants as well. And though I [sort of] understood why many large companies wouldn’t bother taking the extra step to make veggie soups 100% vegetarian, I could not comprehend why small restaurants didn’t make such a simple substitution. They’re both liquid; they’re both salty. Why not use the one that more people will eat? And while thinking about non-egg leavening agents makes my head spin, alternative fats and liquid sweeteners—that’s really not that hard. And that is why this bread is vegan!

Whole Wheat Vegan Bread

(adapted from Allrecipes)

Note: This recipe makes a lot of bread. Three loaves! If you want to make less, just use one packet of yeast and divide all of the other ingredients by 3. Or make all three and freeze what you won’t use right away.

  •  3 cups of warm water
  • 2 packages (1 ½ tbsps) of active dry yeast
  • ⅔ cup of agave, divided in half
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil (plus more, to brush on bread)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 5 cups of bread four
  • 4+ cups of whole wheat flour

Mix together warm water, yeast, and half the agave. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until bubbly. Combine the yeast mixture and the 5 cups of bread flour in a large bowl, and mix with a fork until well-combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

Mix olive oil, salt, and remaining agave into the bubbly dough. Add 2 cups of whole wheat flour and mix until well-combined. Continue adding whole wheat flour until the dough can no longer be mixed with a fork/spoon. Turn dough out on a well-floured surface and knead, adding more whole wheat flour as needed, until a smooth dough forms. (I usually end up using somewhere between 4–5 cups.) Place dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let rise for around an hour, or until doubled in size.

Punch down dough and divide into 3 equal portions. Knead each briefly, then form into loaves and place each in a well-oiled bread pan. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel, and allow to rise for approximately 40 minutes, or until the dough has risen an inch above the top of the pan.

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until bread begins to turn golden brown on top. Remove from oven and allow bread to rest for about 10 minutes in the pans before removing.

This bread is great for many things! It’s a chewier bread, and it works well for sandwiches, toasting, etc. Personally, I prefer my vegan bread with a healthy dollop of butter. :) (Muwahaha!)

Comments

  1. Megan says

    I am a vegan, but only a recent recruit! I had been a vegetarian for 10 years ad know those same frustrations all too well! The only reason I hadn’t gone vegan sooner was my love of dairy and cheese products. lover all my life. In the last 2 months, the time I have been vegan, cheese has been the hardest obstacle to overcome, so I am eager to try your vegan ravioli recipe!!! But in regards to this post, I just wanted to say that even though you’re not a vegan, I’m sure you know it’s wise to enjoy an all vegan meal from time to time- or even a mostly vegan snack with a little dollop of butter is good! I’m glad you’re sharing this insight with your readers!!

    • says

      Thanks, Megan! Overall, I do not do well with restrictions (especially self-imposed ones), so being vegetarian was an interesting experience for me. When I moved to Vermont several years ago I cast aside the label and began eating whatever I pleased because the farm/food culture here is amazing, and I don’t need to worry about the quality of the food I’m putting into my body like I used to! I’ve developed a decent understanding of my body and what it craves, which seems to be fresh, minimally-processed foods and a diet that is still mostly-vegetarian. I enjoy trying my hand at vegan cooking/baking now and again because I see it as a bit of a challenge, and because I like my skill set cover more than just the things that I like to eat. :)

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