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Easy Vegan French Bread

Posted on Feb 21, 2012 by in Recipes | 4 comments

Sliced Vegan French Bread

I’m a baker at heart. I actually only really started honing in on my cooking skills since becoming vegan about a year ago, but I’ve always been a pretty kick-ass baker – ┬áif I do say so myself. Even when I was just a wee one I was in the kitchen baking – cakes, pastries, you name it – there are lots of pictures from my youth involving a hand mixer and batter of some sort.

My true baking passion though has always been bread. I have tons of bread baking books and cookbooks and I’m always the designated bread-baker for family holiday dinners. From basic dinner rolls to artisan rye breads, I’ve tried my hand at a lot of different bread-making recipes and techniques. One thing I hadn’t done though was create my own bread recipe. Until now that is.

I haven’t eaten as much bread as I used to since I started improving my eating habits, but sometimes bread is just necessary. With pasta, for example. The process of finding vegan bread in the store has really opened my eyes to all of the crap that is in store-bought bread, even from the bakeries, which has lead me back to my love for bread baking. Flour, water, salt, yeast, and sugar: that’s essentially all you need to make the perfect loaf of bread.

This recipe is a tribute of sorts to the true simplicity of bread. You don’t need a bread machine or even a mixer – just your hands, a floured surface, and an oven. This recipe makes one loaf, which I find is great because then you don’t have to worry about overdoing it on the carbs nor do you have to worry about wasting any due to spoilage. However, if you have a big family or want to freeze some for later, feel free to double the recipe – though some of the rise times may need to be increased.

You can add additional flavors to this bread by brushing the top with a little Earth Balance and sprinkling on your favorite herbs, or you can slice it up and make it into garlic bread like I did. I find that nothing tastes quite like a homemade loaf of warm, freshly baked bread and if you have never made bread before, this is an easy recipe to get you started.

Easy Vegan French Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp Yeast (or one package)
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Warm Water
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine)
  • Dried Oregano

Directions

  1. Wake up the yeast by placing it in a medium mixing bowl with the sugar and warm water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbly.
  2. Mix in the salt and begin adding flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Mix well until the dough comes together. If it is too sticky to handle add a little bit more flour, if it is too dry add a little more water - 1 tbsp at a time.
  3. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until springy. Grease a medium mixing bowl and roll the dough into a ball. Put the dough ball into the bowl and turn, greasing all sides of the ball. Place in a warm place and cover with a damp towel for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Gently punch the dough down in the middle and roll into back into a ball on a floured surface. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle and roll the dough up, starting with the long side. Place the dough log, seam side down, onto a greased baking sheet. Place in a warm place and cover with a damp towel. Let rise an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until doubled in size. While the dough is rising for a second time, put a glass dish filled half way with water onto the bottom rack of the oven - this will give the bread a crusty exterior.
  7. Brush with a bit a melted Earth Balance and sprinkle the oregano (or your favorite herbs) over the top. Place on the top rack of the oven above the water dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
http://theunintentionalvegan.com/easy-vegan-french-bread

 

Vegan French Bread Loaf

What is your favorite thing to bake?

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