While I've no problem whipping up a pizza dough or some quick biscuits from scratch, and I'm also schooled in the art of cookie and cupcake making, for the most part....bread was just something I never made. Not as a carnivore a decade ago, not as a vegetarian, but as a new(er) vegan, I find it harder and harder to find bread I'm willing to eat that doesn't contain eggs, milk or whey, honey, or high fructose corn syrup.
I don't have a bread machine and always thought having one would just mean trouble (I love me some hot, fresh bread), but I was beginning to ponder my options in the hopes of having good bread now and then that I felt good about eating.
Then I stumbled upon what seemed to be an easy and yummy bread recipe over on Vegweb, and it did not disappoint! As promised, it has that yeast-y flavor that I remember from childhood cafeteria days, is so easy to make, and loaded with possibilities. Tonight I stuck strictly to the recipe (ok, I deviated and threw in 1c. whole wheat flour and 2c. unbleached flour each time), and didn't add any herbs or ingredients that would shake up the recipe too much. I wanted to try it out as it was (mostly) and see what came up.
Well, it rose quite a bit on the second proofing, but didn't become nearly as huge in the oven as I'd hoped, kind of died back down, as you can see. I'm sure this is due to the flours I used, and I'm fine with that because it was almost foccacia like in density and the flavor is simple but sooooo tasty! I can't wait to bake it with cloves of roasted garlic and herbs in the future or turn it into cinnamon buns, sandwhich rolls, breadstix, the possibilities are endless! (see why I knew making my own bread would be trouble? ;)
I highly recommend checking it out, along with all the recommendations over on Vegweb. I, the bread baking novice, am giddy at the thought of trying some of their suggestions.
No, we didn't just have bread for dinner (tho, I must admit I was tempted!), but served it with some fresh steamed garlic broccoli and a Vegan version of Moosewood's Butternut Squash Soup that I found at Recipezaar. I like the soup a lot but made it with the apple juice suggestion (we had cider, actually) and found it to be wonderful, though a bit sweet to eat again any time soon. So I froze the rest for a later date. I'd love to find a recipe that is creamier in texture and more on the savory side of things. But it sure is pretty!