Finding yeast & wheat-free, vegan bread
A vegan bread recipe that has no yeast and avoids wheat is not straightforward to find. Although, eventually, it is right under your nose, if you look properly. Of course, Google is your friend but you do need a few ninja skills to unearth the what you are looking for. Lots of commercially available bread is vegan friendly but if you want to avoid wheat and yeast your options are drastically reduced.
However, the beeb comes up trumps with an easily adaptable Irish Soda bread recipe, which, I adapted! The only ingredients that really needs adapting are the flours and the buttermilk.
So I used spelt flour, with added baking powder, to reduce the gluten content and buckwheat flour instead of plain to reduce it further – buckwheat is gluten free! I’m not really sure what buttermilk is, and am still none the wiser, however, thanks to Ms Cupcake I do have a really easy substitute! I’ve recently reviewed the Ms Cupcake cookbook and although not a recipe from there this is the first time I’ve applied one of her tips!
Why bother making your own, bread is vegan, right?
Most standard supermarket bread is vegan in the UK, while certain homemade recipes may call for eggs and milk, or as in this recipe buttermilk. It’s fairly obvious if you look at the ingredients whether there’s some bad guys in there. You ingredients may see some dodgy listed such as mono or diglycerides and even a lactylate may creep in. Often these can be either/or, so avoid bread with this in it.
As a general rule I like to avoid anything I struggle to pronounce or looks like it should be part of a chemistry lesson. There’s a tendency for this type of stuff to be unhealthy, so that’s another way to avoid potentially non-vegan ingredients.
As another general rule I tend to keep away from bread altogether as I try to avoid wheat, which is another story completely.
Vegan Bread recipe – adapted Irish Soda bread
170g/6oz – spelt flour + 3 teaspoons of baking powder
170g/6oz – buckwheat flour
½ tsp – salt
½ tsp – bicarbonate of soda
290ml/½ pint – Mrs Cupcake buttermilk substitute (soya or rice milk with 6 teaspoons of lemon juice)This is easy but requires the great tip from Ms Cupcake of not overdoing the mixing and ensuring the you mix the dry ingredients first. However, the BBC recipe requires you to do a little kneading but it’s not much more than a few kneads required. Remember to preheat your oven at 400F/200C/Gas 6!
So, for this very easy vegan bread recipe, mix the dry stuff first add the buttermilk substitute and mix it up. Then plonk it on a flour dusted chopping board or similar and knead briefly before pushing it into a round shape on the baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes. Test with a skewer or knife if you haven’t got one and voila! How easy is that?
Vegan Soda Bread with stew
This first attempt at homemade vegan bread was pretty good. It’s definitely vegan soda bread but delighted the taste buds when eaten with the fantastic fennel and white bean stew I made.
A really hearty meal on cold winters night, even though it is spring, of course! Ahem…
I suppose the main test of whether this vegan bread is worthwhile is the repeat test. Will I make it again? Yes, it passes, with flying colours.
I can recommend this recipe for a quick vegan bread that is yeast free and has reduced gluten content due to the spelt and buckwheat flour. So a winner all round and could be made completely gluten free by using just buckwheat flour, although I’ve not tried this, yet.
Soda Bread the next day…
Well it’s probably best as toast. It’s not stale, as yet, but it is very crumbly. Ms Cupcake does warn us that substituting flours and the like will mean you get different results. This vegan soda bread is not the same as a purchased supermarket loaf in a plastic bag, there have to be trade-offs. I’m still keen though it’s NOT a fluffy wholemeal wonder bread.