A Request – Vegan Quinoa Agave Bread
It was pointed out to me by a reader that my penchant for produce also seems to involve a good amount of meat. And looking back at my first eight blog posts it would appear that is the case, alas, I admit, I have a bit of a thing for bacon, and then there’s that love of slow cooked meat, and eggs, and cheese and… but fear not dear readers I love to cook sans meat as well!
Dustin and I have recently ventured into bread baking, and when I say Dustin and I – what I really mean is, that I have ventured hardcore into the field of bread eating and Dustin has put his manly, bone-crushing hand strength to work kneading dough in the kitchen. The two of us really do make a good cooking pair, while I am good at coming up with ideas for dishes and have some sort of an innate 6th sense for cooking, patience, is not really one of my kitchen virtues. OK, its just not one of my virtues, period. Dustin, on the other hand, has the amazing ability to wait out the long rise times that baking bread by hand requires. And my taste buds are very thankful for this.
I was asked to come up with a vegan recipe, a process which actually proved exceedingly more difficult that I originally thought it would be. I wanted to show a complex dish, something nuanced and not typically vegan (i.e. not a simple vegetable saute or grilled tofu.) Additionally I wanted this dish to be something that both my vegan and carnivorous readers would enjoy. Dustin and I had given a go at making quinoa bread a few months back and it was truly fantastic. The loaf came out with a distinct nutty flavor, heightened by a sweet honeyed accent, and a fabulous crunch from the quinoa topping. The recipe we initially used called for milk, powered milk, and honey. In this rendition, we substituted soy milk for the milk and powdered milk, and agave nectar for the honey, and it was just as amazing, if not better than, the first non-vegan version.
Quinoa is actually an amazing grain-like crop, while most people categorize it as a grain it is actually related to swiss chard. The small nutty flavored pellets are packed with protein, iron, and magnesium. Even better the protein contained in quinoa is considered a “complete protein” meaning that it contains a well balanced amino acid profile, making it a perfect fit for a vegan diet!
With Summer and Fall’s amazing bounty lurking right around the corner, in the months to come, we hope to show you all a lot more vegan and vegetarian dishes that highlight fantastic grains and seasonal produce.
Vegan Quinoa Agave Bread
1 Cup Quinoa (We Used Red)
2 Cups Water
1/4 Cup Oatmeal
1 Cup Soy Milk (Divided)
2 TSP Dry Active Yeast
1/4 Cup Warm Water
1/3 Cup Agave Syrup
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
4 1/4 Cups Bread Flour
2 TSPS Sea Salt
Raw Quinoa for Sprinkling on Top of Loaf
Start by cooking the 1 cup of quinoa in the 2 cups of water and the 1/4 cup of oatmeal in 1/2 cup of the soy milk. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes for the quinoa and maybe 5 minutes for the oatmeal. Remove and let cool.
Warm 1/4 cup of water and add the yeast. Let sit for a few minutes so the yeast can activate.
Add the remaining half cup of soy milk (warmed), the agave syrup, and vegetable oil. Mix by hand or in a standing mixer for a few minutes.
Add a cup of the flour and continue to mix. Add the cooked quinoa and oatmeal and mix for a few more minutes. Continue to add flour, a half cup at a time for 5 to 10 minutes, taking the dough to a floured surface for kneeding when appropriate. The dough should be slightly sticky but should hold its shape.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise for 1.5 to 2 hours until doubled.
Note: Remember that the yeast needs warmth to do its job, so a 60 degree air conditioned or winter kitchen might not be the best for rising bread. In the past we have used an oven to heat up the kitchen to aid in the rising process. Today, I just turned off the air and opened the window to let the 87 degree humid air aid in our rising process. Worked like a charm!
Punch the dough down once and form into loaf/rolls. We ended up with a 5″ by 10″ loaf and a couple of fist sized rolls. Be sure to lightly grease the loaf pan or baking sheet used. Let the dough rise once more until nice and puffy. Place in oven.
The rolls cooked for about 15 minutes and the loaf cooked for about 30 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven, letting it cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes before devouring it!