Posted by Vegan Be Happy on 11/10/2011
A few days ago, we baked a nice pumpkin in the oven and one of the sides disappeared on that same day. But we managed to keep the other side to be used in a cake. Oh, this cake was so amazing… Imagine how good it was that my family congratulated me for such a good cake. An important point to mention is that they are rather strict with the absence of eggs, milk, butter or other products in cakes. Right now I believe that is because they know that something is missing when it is cooked by me, not because they actually notice it.
The recipe that I followed can be found over at the Fat free vegan blog. Due to the limited products that I had on hand, I modified the recipe in almost every step. I added a cookie crust to the bottom and simply mixed the pumpkin puree with some veggie milk and regular flour. I added some cinnamon and baking powder and I think that was all. No worries if you don’t have all the different flours, it will simply work if you give it more time in the oven.
Posted by Vegan Be Happy on 03/10/2011
Here in the Netherlands bread is serious business, as well as in some other European countries. People often eat sandwiches for breakfast as well as for lunch, and since not much goes in between the slices of bread, the bread had better be tasty! It’s interesting to note that in other countries such as Portugal it’s actually the other way around, where lunch and dinner are basically the same type of hot meal. Often in those countries it’s hard to get a nice loaf of bread to make sandwiches. A good thing of bread is that many of them are vegan, or otherwise relatively easy to veganize. So we’ll start off Vegan Mofo 2011 with a nice wholesome bread.
Recently we acquired River Cottage Handbook No. 3, by Daniel Stevens (Bloomsbury, London, 2009), which is dedicated to baking many different kinds of bread at home. It’s a great hands-on guide full of illustrative pictures and practical advice. It spends a good amount of time on getting the basics across, followed by many specialized bread recipes, from classic Italian breads (ciabatta) to more exotic ones (such as vetkoek, which appears to be similar to oliebollen, minus the raisins). One of the final chapters teaches you how to build your own clay oven in the garden, I’m not sure we’ll reach that level (besides the fact that we currently lack a garden…).
We’re slowly starting to explore the book (but a sourdough starter is in the works!), here you can see a nice wholemeal bread topped off with pumpkin seeds. It uses the basic bread recipe provided by Daniel, with the following ingredients:
- 500g wholemeal flout
- 5g dried yeast
- 10g salt
- 300ml warm water
The bread’s a bit flat, next time we’ll leave it to rise in a bread pan, to give it a more traditional shape. But the consistency and taste are great, and that’s what counts!
Posted by Vegan Be Happy on 08/10/2010
Winter and rain are coming to Netherlands and as a result the pumpkin season is here. Now you can get pumpkins almost everywhere and I just thought that why not to start to use them in the kitchen besides as decoration in gardens and houses as some Dutch people do. One of the first ideas was to make bread.
- 3 cups of whole wheat flour
- 2 cups of water
- 1 1/2 cups of pre-cooked pumpkin
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 3 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons of active gluten flour
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
Before starting the bread, you have to boil the pumpkin for around 15min after cutting it in dices. Leave it a side to cool down. In some places you can buy the pre-cooked pumpkin in a tin however if you have time it is better to do it yourself.
While it cools down, mix the dry yeast in a bit of water. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients and later add the pre-cooked pumpkin. Then mix as much as you can the pumpkin with the flour, I found easy to just use my hand even if it was sticky. When the dough becomes homogeneous add the sugar to the yeast mix and then add everything to the dough. Keep mixing and adding the remaining water until you get a nice dough. Do not worry if it gets too wet, in my case it was not liquid but it was not easy to remove from my hands. Later place it in a nonstick shape that you prefer and leave it resting for around 40min. Keep in mind that the longer you leave it the fluffier the bread will get however it depends on the time or patience you have :- ). Later bake it at 160ºC for around 35min.
This bread came out really fluffy and moist. As a surprise it was not sweet at all and the pumpkin gave it a really nutty taste (I used butternut pumpkin perhaps if you use another kind of pumpkin might change the flavour). Another surprise was that after 4 days the bread was still really good.