Making your own bread at home is one of the most satisfying and rewarding things that you can do, if only because of the smell! However, a lot of people are intimidated by bread: it involves scary things like yeast, kneading and proving. However, by following a few simple rules, making bread is one of the most straightforward things you can do.
Having a breadmaker makes it more simple still. You just measure out and add your ingredients and the machine does all of the work: it does the kneading and proving for you, it even bakes you your finished loaf. Enthusiastic cooks and bakers often like to give their friends and family things that they made themselves as gifts. But this year, why not also consider giving people the means to make their own? They’ll save money on their grocery shopping and will almost certainly enjoy the creative aspects that baking your own bread provides.
The loaf that I have made did not use a breadmaker. Nevertheless, I hope it is something that you will be interested to try out. Vegans like me are so often not able to eat many of the sweet treats that a lot of us take for granted. So if you are dairy-free for whatever reason, why not give this a go? I think you will find it to be one of the easiest ways to impress your friends. The biggest challenge is that it requires a bit of patience!
Vegan Swirled Loaf With Biscuit and Chocolate Spreads
450g strong white bread flour
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
7g sachet of dried yeast
200ml plant milk
Biscuit spread – I used Lotus
Dairy-free Chocolate hazelnut spread – I used Nature’s Source
You’ll also need a greased loaf tin
- Sift your flour into a mixing bowl and add the coconut oil. Using your fingers, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Next add the sugar, salt and yeast. Important: do not let the salt and the yeast touch each other in the bowl, as this will kill the yeast.
- Make a well in the flour and add your plant milk that you have heated up to blood temperature. Start to bring this mixture together into a smooth dough, adding as much warm water as you need to make it soft and pliable.
- Tip this dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for 10 minutes. I did all of this by hand but you can also do it using a fancy food mixer, if you have one. Once you can put a floured finger into your dough and it immediately springs back rather than leaving an indentation, it is ready.
- Lightly flour your clean mixing bowl and return the ball of dough to it. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and put the bowl in a warm place for 90 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Once your dough has proved, punch the air out and divide it up into two equal pieces. Cover one with clingfilm while you work with the other. Roll it out on a floured surface until it is about a centimetre thick and then spread it with an even layer of your biscuit spread.
- Roll this up into a sausage and cover it with clingfilm while you repeat the steps with the other half of your dough, using the chocolate hazelnut spread.
- Cut the two sausages into 5 centimetre (2 inch) rounds and put them into your loaf tin, alternating biscuit and chocolate pieces. Once you have filled your tin, cover it with clingfilm and put it back into your warm place to prove for a further 40 minutes.
- At this stage, you should preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (356 degrees Fahrenheit, gas mark 4).
- After the second proving, brush the top of your creation with some plant milk and put the loaf into the preheated oven for 40 minutes, until the top is golden and the loaf sounds hollow when it is tapped with a finger.
- Try not to eat it all at once.
This post was written in association with Panasonic, but all words and the recipe are my own.