08 May 2015

Vegan Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread - No Knead and Low Fuss!

I know that I promised CSA posts, but right now we've been eating things from the CSA so quickly that I don't have time to photograph them (I'm only a little bit kidding). Every week I get so excited to see what we'll get. Just yesterday I submitted another manuscript to a journal, so I hope that means I'll get back to experimenting with new recipes.

For today, though, I'd like to share a recipe for a whole wheat sandwich bread. I used to think baking bread was scary and tedious and required a master's touch. To be honest, I still think that way about a lot of bread. However, this bread is SO easy because it's a very wet dough and requires no kneading. The lack of kneading means it takes a while, but get it started one weekend afternoon or right when you come home from work and then let it do it's thing. With minimal effort you will be rewarded with awesome bread!

Vegan Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
This recipe is an adaptation from the one found at Vegan Baking.

2 c. warm (NOT HOT) water
1/2 T. rapid rise yeast
2 T. agave nectar
2 c. white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 T. salt
2 T. light olive oil (optional)

1. In a small bowl, combine the water, yeast, and agave nectar, whisking to combine. Let sit for about 10 minutes (you will see the yeast start to foam).
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flours and salt.
3. After the 10 minutes for the yeast to activate, add the oil to the yeast mixture, then add the liquid to the flour mixture.
4. Stir with a sturdy (wooden) spoon for a minute.
5. Cover loosely with a plastic bag or plastic wrap and put in a warm place (see Helpful Hints) until it has doubled in size - about 1 hour.
6. Stir for about 30 seconds, then cover and let rise until doubled again - about 1 hour.
7. Stir a final time and then shape the dough into a rough log. Place it in a lightly greased loaf pan and allow to rise under a plastic bag until it's about 80% of the size you want - 20ish minutes.
8. Preheat oven to 350 and then bake for about 40 minutes.
9. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes or so then allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Helpful Hints
  • I really like the mixing of the white whole wheat and the regular whole wheat flours. If you followed the links above, you can see they are made from different wheats and thus have a slightly different flavor and nutrient profile. The use of the white whole wheat makes this bread lighter. It's not necessary, but if you use all whole wheat then the rising times may increase. 
  • When I let my dough rise the first & second times, I put it in my oven. I don't turn the oven on or anything, but the oven is a bit warmer than the counter and free from drafts. For the last rise (in the pan), it stays on the counter. 
  • After this has completely cooled, I slice it thinly and then freeze it. 
  • I find that this bread takes longer to toast then store-bought bread. It doesn't bother me, just providing that info. 
  • One last note about the optional oil. Adding oil makes for a slightly "heavier" loaf, but can increase the flavor. Try it both with and without the oil to see which you like better. 
The post "Vegan Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread" originally appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.

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