Yes, that is how I feel every time I make a baked vegan creation. By the way, everyone on earth who thinks vegan baking is hard…nope, and how about this? You feel way better about preparing it, baking it, and eating it, and not just for ethical purposes – it’s more natural, and clearly, therefore, better for you. What a wonder (woman).
While I’ve become more adventurous in the last few years, I’m still something of a creature of habit. Now, I just give the same flavors fresh incarnations. Hey, I’m the one eating it, so I’m okay with it. So, obviously, today I played with tomatoes and garlic, and in my first go at creating a bread recipe, I present roasted tomato, garlic, and basil bread.
- 4 Roma tomatoes, halved
- 1 head of roasted garlic*
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- salt and pepper to season
- 2 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons of yeast
- 2 cups bread flour
- 4 cups whole wheat flour + 1 cup whole wheat flour reserved 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 2 tablespoons dried basil
*To roast garlic, cut off the very top part of the head, exposing the cloves. Place the entire head in the middle of a piece of foil. Drizzle lightly with olive oil or even just some water to keep it from burning. Wrap the foil around the head and place in the oven for 40-45 minutes at 400 degrees.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Evenly place the tomatoes, cut side up on a lined baking sheet. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. Once cooled, peel the tomatoes (the peel should slip right off – if it doesn’t, put them in the oven for a few more minutes), and with the seeds in, put in a blender. Pulse the tomatoes until you have a thick liquid consistency. Add the roasted garlic by squeezing the head, and pulse until the ingredients are combined.
In a bowl, combine water, yeast, and a tablespoon of the agave nectar. Let it sit for a minute. Add in one cup of bread flour and two cups of whole wheat flour. Cover with a towel and let sit for 30 minutes.
Add in the coconut oil, sea salt, granulated garlic, dried basil, and the tomato mixture. You can always add more or less herbs to fit your preferences. Combine all ingredients. Add in the rest of the bread flour and two more cups of whole wheat flour. Mix in.
Sprinkle a flat surface with flour and drop the dough onto it. Knead for a few minutes. This dough is a bit wetter than other bread doughs at this stage, so use your reserved flour to help it along its way. If you need more than the recommended one cup, go
for it. Just make sure the dough maintains a smooth consistency. Lightly coat alarge bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in the bowl. If it’s still slightly wet and sticky at this point, it’s okay – mine was. Put a towel over the bowl and let the dough rise for about an hour, or until the dough is approximately double in size.
Flour a flat surface. Punch the dough, and drop it onto the floured surface. Knead the dough, adding in flour as needed (…kneaded – haha!). Form into a ball. This time, you don’t want the dough to be anything more than a touch sticky, if at all. Add flour where needed. Lightly grease two bread pans. Cut the ball of dough in half, and place one half in each bread pan. Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the dough is risen, take a sharp paring knife and cut a line down the middle of the loaf. Don’t go deep – just a slight slicing, right under the surface. Place the bread on the second to bottom rack and let bake for 40-45 minutes.
I’m sure there are a couple ways to cut down on the stickiness of the dough. Next time I make this, I’m going to play with the water to flour ratio a little bit, unless the stickiness is normal (??? – feel free to answer that one bakers). It ended up having a light and fluffy texture, but I did add in quite a bit of flour as I kneaded. Regardless, wala! Great for toast, sandwiches, and just eating. Enjoy!