Vegan seed bread bakes a high fibre loaf which is rich in vitamins and minerals.
This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 30th March, 2019.
Baking your loaf from basic principles is a time consuming business, and frankly wasteful of energy. On the other hand, if you have unlimited space in your day, there are few things more satisfying than kneading the dough. Perhaps it's the reason why as a chiropractor, I've enjoyed it for so many years; but it took hours and was done infrequently.
Enter the bread machine for our convenience; in just a few minutes you can prepare the ingredients and have everything ready; and five hours later you'll have a fine loaf made in the vegan tradition.
I use only one hundred percent wholemeal flour; that you may have difficulty finding as those located on the shelf of your local store invariably have had about a third of the goodness removed.
The reasons are varied but it has much to do with shelf life; the oils in the wheat start to spoil once the grain is cracked.
My solution is to grind our own wheat; it's an expensive kitchen appliance and is only for those who are serious about baking and are going to use it regularly. The grain itself has to be frozen for ten days, and then sealed, or the weevils will have a field day.
We have a dedicated garage freezer that runs on solar energy only. It only cools during the day when the sun is shining. It's for foodstuffs that may defrost slightly at night with no problems; like wheat kernels.
Vegan seed bread has added hummus to lower the glycemic index.
Firstly a short word on veganism; it means eating no product which came from an animal.
That means vegans eat no meat, dairy or eggs, including no butter. They have to be particularly careful to balance their proteins and a B12 deficiency can be a serious problem; it causes a serious, fatal disease called pernicious anaemia.
Probably the best butter substitute is one made by Earth Balance, if you can find it. It's really a margarine but is made from cold pressed oils and contains no trans fat. Olive oil is the alternative.
We also use coconut butter in our vegan seed bread.
Traditionally sprinkle one and a half teaspoons of dried yeast in the bottom of your baking tin, making sure the paddle is in place; actually I'm getting better results by adding it on top of the dough.
Add the measured amount of flour according to your specific bread machine.
Now prepare your seed mix. Add your chosen favourites to a simple coffee grinder and give it a good whizz. Many of them are poorly digested and pass through the alimentary canal unchanged unless they have been cracked.
A healthy mix might be flax and sesame seed, poppy and sunflower to which today I've added half a dozen almonds.
You just use your favourites; we love pumpkin seeds too.
Not being able to use butter for shortening means you must find a source of oils as in seeds and nuts, or coconut.
I whizz up enough to last about two or three weeks and keep it chilled in the refrigerator; you could freeze it, or prepare it every day, but then you won't finish your baking in five minutes.
My apologies but the coffee grinder is very difficult to see against the black backdrop of the granite.
Return these packets to the freezer remember to prevent oxidation.
In the pound jar on the left you can visualise the ground up seeds and nuts for your bread; that's what I keep in the fridge for a couple weeks.
The oils in the seeds make it quite sticky; wipe them out with your finger, making absolutely certain the blender is switched off.
It shouldn't start with the lid removed, but if there's an electrical switch failure it could do massive damage to your hand.
Toss a couple tablespoons of your ground seeds and nuts into the baking tin.
Add a teaspoon of sea salt and enough honey to get the yeast fermenting.
Then you'll need a table spoon of olive oil or coconut butter and the measured amount of water, according to your machine recipe.
As an aside, let me say there's no point in using your special raw honey in bread; the heat from the baking will denature the important enzymes that are so unique.
Join the proverbial queen in her parlour and keep your raw honey for going on a slice of your vegan seed bread once it's baked; absolutely healthy and scrumptious. The glycemic index is low from all the added seeds and fat so you need not be concerned on that score.
Pop the oven dish in your bread machine and switch it on to the five hour cycle. Anything shorter will not produce a decent texture.
It's a good moment to do a quick check. Is the paddle in place? Have you remembered the yeast and flour, salt, honey and water? And of course you haven't forgotten your mixture that makes your vegan seed bread unique.
Don't open the lid and peek; in four hours it will start to cook, smelling divine and be ready for lunch. If you are a greenie with a solar generator there'll be ample energy coming in from the sun by noon to bake your delicious, nutritious loaf.
There's a little compromise to consider when making your vegan seed bread. If you bake daily, then add a little less water for the perfectly risen loaf.
If you want it still to be moist on the second day, then add an extra tablespoon of water, but it may sink a little.
If you have a gluten intolerance, then consider making up a little of this sourdough bread recipe; it's a living creature that you keep in the refrigerator, full of the good bacteria that will help digest the offending proline chains; that's the amino acid which gives some of us a belly ache, and allergies.
The better bread machines provide a receptacle for the seeds. If you add the ground seeds to the initial dough it inhibits the rising, and the loaf tends to either collapse or not rise properly.
Use your vegan seed bread receptacle for the ground goodies; or add them at least an hour after starting.
In fact I'm experimenting with adding the seeds manually after even later and getting better results; it doesn't rise as well.
Your vegan seed bread made from 100% wholemeal flour already has a moderately low GI, unlike the loaf from the supermarket. To lower it still further, add a tablespoon of homemade hummus.
You don't know how to make hummus? That's a basic for everyone interested in wellness, but especially for vegans. Once you have the ingredients you whizz this authentic hummus recipe up in just five minutes; I do it at least twice a week, and about half of it goes into our low GI bread. The hummus doesn't keep so you must use it within three day, and the balance in our home goes into the dough.
Flax seed is one of my favourites as a chiropractor; it's a powerful anti inflammatory; so strong that there are reports of flaxseed oil spontaneously bursting into flame.
It's also known as linseed oil.
Vegan seed bread is not just for those who shun animal products; we can all enjoy and benefit from these foods.
There are concerns in some circles about phytic acid binding the minerals in your vegan seed bread; certainly the artificially added chemical does bind calcium and iron and other minerals.
Consensus seems to be that the naturally occurring phytate is a very small problem as weighed against the enormous benefits of 100% wholemeal flour.
Interesting research now reveals that taking calcium supplements, even in the elderly and osteoporotic person is definitely not advisable. It is deposited in the inner lining of arteries increasing cardiovascular illness.
Research does show that vegans need to be careful of other deficiencies, in particularly B12, vitamin D, calcium and omega-3.
I've finally accepted that vegan seed bread is better without the seeds; it's simply doesn't rise nearly as well, and the dough is much heavier.
Seeds are important; they are one of the few sources of vitamin E, one of the four very important nutrients that retard the start and progression of frailty syndrome. So, instead, we now sprinkle them on our salad or on the oats porridge that we enjoy most days for breakfast.
Life is full of small compromises.
One simply huge advantage of your vegan seed bread made with 100% wholemeal flour is the B vitamin, known as choline. The average Western diet has less than half the recommended amount. Deficiencies are involved in many very serious inflammatory diseases and birth defects.
These wonderful choline food sources are just one more good reason to bake your own bread.
Some vegans won't eat honey; then you have to use sugar or the yeast won't thrive and your bread will be very heavy.
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100% wholemeal on the left, and so-called "wholemeal" on the right. There's a world of difference.
Make your own sourdough starter with rye flour and raw honey.