Category Archives: BreakfastPosted on July 25th, 2014 by Dan
Friend: What do you know about making croissants?
Me: Hm, I don’t know. Not much. They’re hard.
This conversation between a friend and myself took place a few months ago. I knew croissants were layers of fat and dough and I had added them to my vegan bucket list after seeing VeganDad play around with puff pastry. But, at the time, I didn’t even know they were a yeasted dough, and certainly didn’t think I was ready for it.
Well, I’m here to tell you, croissants aren’t that difficult to make. Yes, even vegan ones. Like most breads (and food), they take patience and dedication to detail. If you try to rush croissants, you’ll end up with a flat, oily mess.
I don’t feel a need to post step-by-step instructions, because the methods for making vegan croissants aren’t any different than non-vegan ones. I will share some tips that helped me and the recipes I used.
I learned more from baking several batches of croissants than I did from research or reading recipes. For starters, there seems to be two types of croissants: 1) sweet, buttery, chewy/gooey desserts or 2) fluffy, bready, robust, roll-like croissants. The former makes sense to serve with chocolate and fruit while the latter can hold it’s own being cut open and stuffed for sandwiches. I made batches of each.
For the dessert croissants, I relied on VeganBaking.net. I adapted the recipe (based on my research) and came up with a nice result, which I think would have been improved by a longer proofing after shaping. This recipe uses sugar, milk (non-dairy) and fat in the dough so it’s more enriched (softer) and sweeter.
For the bready croissants, I used the recipe from Tartine Bread. I love this recipe because it utilizes overnight rests, uses a poolish and a sourdough leaven, has less sugar and no fat in the dough. I gave these plenty of time to proof before baking and so they were oversized and lovely.
In both recipes I employed some chocolate layering in half. Though I haven’t looked into it, I have a hunch that the chocolate should be added during the folds of laminating the dough. However, due to lack of foresight, I simply slathered some melted chocolate onto the croissant before I rolled it up.
Adapted from VeganBaking.net for a half batch. For the dessert croissants:
- 1/2 Tbl active dry yeast
- 5 oz warm soy milk
- 4oz (approx 3/4 cup) bread flour
- 2.8 oz (approx 1/2 cup) all purpose flour
- 1 oz (approx 1/8 cup) white sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 14 grams butter
I made the dough and butter block (5in square block) in the afternoon, did two turns in the evening and then refrigerated overnight. The next morning, I rolled out the dough and did two more turns then refrigerated for 5 hours. I then rolled it out again, cut and shaped them, let them rose for an hour and then baked for 15 mins at 375ºF.
I used the recipe for the dough laid out in Tartine Bread, only substituting soy milk for the milk and again made a half batch.
As for the butter block, I had perfect success with using 100% Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, though I dabbled with various ratios of coconut oil and shortening and they worked equally well. For the egg wash, I had best success with using orange marmalade mixed with a little soy milk to thin it out.Posted on January 19th, 2014 by Susanna
Dan got a donut pan for Christmas- something I was pretty excited about since we can now decrease our fried food intake. I’ve had a hankering for regular old glazed chocolate donuts so we made them today. We used this recipe and just subbed the egg with a flax egg and milk with rice milk. Dan also decided to make a chocolate ganache topping.
They turned out pretty good but I think I’ll try a different recipe next time. They seemed a little too cakey and spongy.Posted on November 13th, 2013 by Dan
Pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin. Yes, we know.
Summer is over and it’s time to take advantage of local pumpkins in Maryland. I’ve made a few yummy pumpkin desserts and soups and such, but haven’t added it to bread… yet. Well, now I have. But first, let me suggest to you, freezing pumpkin, in an ice cube tray. Throw two tablespoons of puree into each ice mold, freeze, then pop them into a freezer bag. The result: 12 cubes of 1 ounce pumpkin which you can use on a moments notice to add in bread, pancakes, milkshakes… the list goes on.
Pumpkin is a bread bakers friend. It can be substituted cup for cup for water and can also be used to enrich dough, in lieu of egg. Ever since I made myself a sourdough starter I have wanted to make sourdough bagels. Originally, I thought my first ones would be sourdough blueberry bagels, but the extra moisture in the blueberries scared me, so those will have to wait until the spring.
These bagels are great. They are rich, slightly sweet from the cranberry, chewy and take really really well to pumpkin spice cream cheese. For the cream cheese, mix about 2 tsp of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and allspice each into an 8 oz tube of your favorite vegan cream cheese and blend.
I hope you make these and enjoy them. They take two days with the sourdough, but worth the time, for sure. Let me know what you think and what else you like to do with pumpkin.
- 5 oz sourdough starter (100% hydration)
- 11 oz bread flour
- 3 oz whole wheat flour
- 7 oz warm water
- 8 oz pumpkin puree
- 0.5 – 1 oz water (optional)
- 18 oz bread flour
- 0.5 oz barley malt syrup
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 0.7 oz salt
- 4.5 oz dried cranberry
- The day before you plan to make the bagels, make the firm sourdough starter by mixing the 5 oz of 100% hydration sourdough with 11 oz bread flour, 3 oz whole wheat flour and 7 oz of water. Mix until it forms a ball, knead briefly, then coat the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic and let rest for 4 hours. Then lightly degas, reform into a ball. Place this ball back into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate over night.
- The next day, an hour before making the dough, remove the starter from the fridge, cut into small pieces, place on a silpat and cover with plastic to allow to warm up a bit.
- Mix the rest of the bread flour (18 oz) with the salt and yeast. Add the pumpkin puree and malt syrup and mix until a ball forms. Add in the cranberries and switch to hand kneading (or use the hook attachment of your stand mixer) and knead until everything is incorporated, all the flour is hydrated and it feels pliable, but not tacky. Add more water if you need to allow everything to mix together, but a firm dough will yield a chewier, more shapely bagel. It is often easier to let the dough rest a few minutes and knead again a few times to ensure everything is mixed and the gluten is developed.
- Immediately divide the dough into 4.5 – 5 oz balls (mine were 4.8 oz) for 12 bagels. Let these balls rest a few minutes, then shape into bagels with whichever method you prefer. For shaping, I like to take the ball of dough and force my finger through the center, stretching it out, remembering the dough with expand and shrink the hole some when it is boiled.
- From here, I brushed the bagels with oil, covered with plastic and let rest in a cool part of the house for 2 hours to bake that day. Alternatively, in theory, you should be able to brush with oil, cover and retard in the fridge overnight. The goal is to not allow them to rise so that they get puffy, otherwise you end up with wrinkly, malformed bagels.
- When ready to bake, bring a large pot of water to boil, dissolve a 1-2 tsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of sugar in the water. Have the oven at 500°F with a steam tray in place. With my 12 bagels, I decided to bake in two batches, so I boiled my first 6 (two at a time), for 2 minutes (one minute per side). Then I placed these 6 on a baking sheet lined with my silpat and placed in the oven. I immediately threw about a cup of water on the steam tray and closed the door. After 30 seconds, I spray the bagels with a spray bottle of water and closed the door, repeating this 2 more times. After the last time I set the timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, I rotated the baking sheet, reduced the heat to 450°F and baked for an additional 4-6 minutes, until they were golden.
- After the bagels were finished, I removed them to a cooling rack, brushed lightly with melted butter and repeated the process with the remaining 6.
- Let cool and then serve with pumpkin spice cream cheese- vegan, of course.
It’s always such a task to be the first one out of bed on a weekend morning and make what everybody is craving- pancakes. So far, we have utilized two pancake recipes, one for fluffy hand-sized pancakes and another for thin, silver-dollar ones. The latter, by the way, is terrific since you make it in a blender.
In our recent efforts to use Vegg in our cooking, especially from the Vegg Cookbook, we decided to try out the lemon poppy seed pancakes from the cookbook. This recipe, from Meggie Woodfield of The Vegan Adventures of Meggie and Ben, was one of the best pancake recipes we’re ever had! “I forgot what pancakes tasted like”, Susanna surprised me after eating them Saturday morning. But she was right, these were not just good pancakes, but delicious. They were light and very fluffy and the lemon poppy seed was icing on the
pancake. And so of course, I had to do that cliche pancake photo shot: staked up high with maple syrup running down.
I used 1.5 cups of white flour and 0.5 cups of whole wheat and stirred everything until just combined (with a few lumps), then fried them without letting the batter rest for 10 minutes as the recipe suggests.Posted on January 19th, 2013 by Dan
I made these delicious pancakes this morning. It’s a nice variation on a classic pancake recipe- coconut and lemon to blueberry pancakes. Serve with butter and maple syrup. These pancakes are a little thicker so you can add an extra splash of milk (2 tbsp) if you prefer a thinner pancake. Makes about 10 pancakes.
- 3/4 cups light coconut milk
- 1/4 cup milk (we used rice milk)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp coconut extract (optional)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- Combine everything up to the flour into a bowl, stir to combine.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and stir until just combined, some lumps are okay.
- Fold in the blueberries.
- Cook over medium heat in a lightly buttered frying pan, 2 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the other.
Susanna and I were very lucky to come out of hurricane Sandy with only 12 hours of lost internet. We’ve had good luck with bad storms so far in this house. We spent the night swing dancing and preparing for the power to go off.
On Monday I worked from my grandparent’s house (they didn’t lose internet) and my sister happened to be there in the morning for breakfast. She has a slice of cinnamon raisin bread from the store and it smelled amazing. I thought, I need to make me one of those!
So I found a nice looking recipe from the kitchn. And oh, by the way, my sourdough is back! It died, I was too lazy to grow a new one, when I tried it took 2 weeks… but now it’s alive and healthy. So I modified the recipe I found to use up some of the sourdough starter. Here it is, very tasty for breakfast.
- 5 oz starter
- 4 oz AP flour
- 4 oz warm water
- .5 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1.5 oz milk
- 1/8 cup (1 oz) Earth Balance, melted, room temperature
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 7.5 – 8.5 oz all-purpose flour
- 0.5 cup (3 oz) raisins
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Soak the raisins in enough boiling water to cover. Let sit for an hour or more to plump.
- Combine the starter right out of the fridge and feed it with the 4 oz of flour and water. Let it sit in a mixing bowl for an hour or over night if you have the time.
- Mix in the yeast, milk, butter, salt and 7.5 oz of flour. Stir until a rough dough forms, then turn out onto the table and knead until smooth, adding more flour to make a tacky, elastic dough. NOTE: when we add the raisins it will add more moisture, so you can make this a bit drier than usual.
- Let the dough relax on the counter, covered, for a half hour. Drain the raisins and toss with someflour to absorb excess moisture. Stretch the dough on the counter and fold the raisins in, adding more flour as necessary to take up the moisture from the raisins.
- Let rise in an oiled bowl until doubled (1.5 hours).
- Deflate and form into a loaf using the technique from the kitchn to get the cinnamon swirl effect. Preheat over to 375°F
- Rise in a loaf pan until cresting the top and then bake at 375°F for 40 minutes.
We’ve been taking full advantage of pumpkins this year. We have been frequently making this granola and it’s been our breakfast almost every day for a few weeks. The recipe is adapted from Recipe Boy’s pumpkin granola. It’s great in milk or yogurt.
3 cups old fashioned (rolled) oats
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup pure (unsweetened) pumpkin puree
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup roasted pecans
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, or use a nonstick baking sheet.
2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl (oats through salt). Mix the wet ingredients (syrup through vanilla) in a smaller bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then stir in the cranberries, pepitas, and pecans.
3. Spread the mixture out onto your baking sheet. Bake until golden- stirring halfway through baking- 20 minutes, then stir, then bake another 20 minutes. If it’s not quite golden and crisp, bake 5 to 10 minutes more. It will get crisper as it cools. Let it cool and mix in chocolate chips, and then store it in a covered container to nibble on for a couple of weeks.Posted on June 29th, 2012 by Dan
I’ve been overwhelmed with how bountiful and beautiful summer is. Farmer’s markets are full of fresh produce and I’m hoarding berries. So far we’ve bought/foraged and frozen cherries, black berries, plums, and wineberries. Our freezer is literally stuffed to the brim and we can barely keep it closed.
Among the berries I haven’t frozen are blueberries. I bought some last week to use for a dessert competition at Berry Festival. Last year we placed second with a berry, lemon torte. This year, we decided to make doughnuts, though Susanna was skeptical, topped with a blueberry glaze.
They despite the fear, they turned out awesome. Light, fluffy, airy, fried doughnuts that would beat the pants off of Dunkin Donuts…
Unfortunately, they didn’t beat the winner at the Berry Festival… popsicles. I know right?
Oh well, better luck next year. For anyone who wants to serve an amazing dessert/breakfast/snack, but maybe not win in a competition, I used the dough from VeganDad’s Vegan Chocolate-Glazed Donuts. I doubled the recipe and got 40-45 doughnuts out of them.
It took me a bit of time to figure out what to do for the glaze. Nightmarish memories of overly sweet, runny icing rushed back to me. As I’m complaining to Susanna with my glazey woes, she suggests, “Just mush up some blueberries and mix them with sugar”. And that’s what I did!
Ingredients (for 40 mini doughnuts, adjust as necessary)
- 1/4 – 1/2 pint fresh, organic blueberries
- powdered sugar
This method has no real measurements. It makes it tough to describe, but super easy in that if you add too much of the one ingredient, you add more of the other. Also, since you start out with a little bit, you don’t have to worry about making more than you need.
- Start by placing a 1/4 cup of blueberries in a flat bottoms bowl and mash them to a pulp with a potato masher. Make sure there are no chunky parts (save for the bits of skins) and mash them enough so the purple pigment from the skin is extruded into the juice.
- Transfer about half of the blueberry soup into a mixing bowl, and using an electronic hand mixer, stir the blueberry soup on low while sprinkling in some powdered sugar until it totally clumpy and won’t mix (more than you think). Now, add in a little but more blueberry liquid while mixing until it just comes together. This might take some practice, but if you add too much liquid, just add more sugar (and vice versa).
- Stop when the mixture is thick, like room temperature molasses. Now dip your doughnuts and move them around to make sure the entire top is covered, but not goopy. The icing should flow just enough to smooth out any peaks or ripples, but shouldn’t really run down the sides. It should stiffen within a minute of being on the doughnut.
- Once your glaze reserve is too low to dip a doughnut, just add in some more powdered sugar and repeat step 2. Additionally, you can heat up the bowl just slightly until the glaze is runny, but it will harden quickly afterwards.
I had no idea that pumpkin butter, or any fruit butters for that matter, were so easy to make. It’s basically boiled down fruit puree with some spices. I decided to use up some of my frozen pumpkin puree from my Cheese Pumpkin to make pumpkin butter. Also, we saw a recipe for buttered rum that called for pumpkin butter too ;-).
- 2 cups of pumpkin puree
- 2/3 cup apple cider (apple juice can work here too)
- 1 cinnamon stick, plus an extra 1/4 tsp of cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbls maple syrup
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 allspice berries, grated
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (I used less a little less, it will depend on how sweet you like your spread)
- Combine pumpkin puree and the apple cider in a sauce pan over medium heat
- Add in cinnamon stick, cloves, vanilla, maple syrup, other spices, and sugar (adjusting for taste) and whisk until combined
- Bring to a bubble, whisking frequently, then reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened (about 1 hour), whisking occasionally
- Let cool, remove cinnamon stick and cloves, and serve on pancakes, ice cream, toast, or buttered rum…
It’s not often I go for a recipe when making smoothies. The best part about them is that you can practically throw anything into a blender and you get something cool, fruity and tasty. However, when I was trying to figure out how to use the couple of figs from my grandparent’s tree, I fell in love with this concoction. The main players are figs, blueberries and peach. When blended together with some rice milk and soy yogurt, it produces a brightly colored, creamy, sweet smoothie with just a bit of tartness.
- 3 black mission figs
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 peach, halved
- 1/4 cup soy yogurt
- splash of rice milk (just to get it going)