Vegan Bake Off Challenge – Week 3

It’s bread week! When I embarked on this week’s #veganbakeoffchallenge I didn’t actually think it would be much of a challenge, given that most bread is naturally vegan anyway. I was wrong – the challenge for me was to make a highly nutritious quick bread without using yeast and without using a sourdough starter (which doesn’t use yeast but does require slow proofing overnight). Now I know how to make a loaf of bread using both of these methods, but without…?

I’m certainly no expert in the mathematics of bread baking, and yes it is all about the mathematics! Professional bakers don’t usually use recipes, but rather use formulas to break down the ingredients into proportions that can be scaled up or down as needed. So when I tried to change and add ingredients to my standard bread recipe without applying any scientific knowledge, it was a bit of an experiment. The result was a dense, crusty, tasty loaf packed full of nutrients, but with a slightly undercooked centre. So I’ve increased the baking time in the recipe below to allow for better results:

Week 3: Quick Bread

Nutrient-rich carrot, seed and rye loaf

Carrot rye bread 1  Carro rye bread ingredients

Ingredients

  • 300g organic rye flour*
  • 2 organic carrots**
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary***
  • 1/2 tsp fine Himalayan salt****
  • 250ml almond milk
  • 100g mixed seeds: linseeds, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin*****

* Rye flour has a lower gluten content than wheat flour, is richer in nutrients, and makes a denser bread. Its high fibre content helps to curb hunger and improve digestive health. If you want a lighter loaf, you can use a mixture of rye and plain flour to balance out the density.

** You may have heard the old wives tale that carrots help you see in the dark… well carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a super strong antioxidant which helps to boost the health of your eyesight and nourish your skin, as well as keep stomach, prostate and lung cancer away.

 *** The health benefits of rosemary are astonishing – studies have implicated rosemary as an anti-cancer compound, memory enhancer, mood elevator, migraine killer, immune booster and improver of digestive health.

**** It’s worth getting your hands on Himalayan salt – this is by far the purest salt available on earth and is uncontaminated with any toxins or pollutants. You can learn more about its wonderful health benefits here.

***** Though tiny, seeds are packed with nutrients such as protein, fibre, iron, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids that help promote healthy skin and hair, remove toxins, balance hormones and support cardiovascular health.

Method

  1. Heat your oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, rosemary and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Grate the carrots and squeeze them to remove any excess liquid before adding to the mixture.
  4. Make sure the carrots are combined evenly and then gently fold in the almond milk, without overworking the dough. Finally, fold in the seeds.
  5. Lightly dust a surface with flour and shape the dough into an oval shape, again being careful not to overwork. Lightly score the top and sprinkle with more seeds, rosemary, salt, and flour, and bake for 45 minutes or until browned and the loaf sounds hollow when the base is tapped.

This bread tastes great topped with hummus, avocado or dipped into soup – I enjoyed mine with tahini and alfalfa and broccoli sprouts for a quick and tasty lunch.

Carrot rye bread 2  Carrot rye bread sprouts

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