I’ve wanted to make a healthy vegan bread for a while but even just reading about the process of bread making made me tired. Punching, kneading and resting dough for hours and hours, ain’t nobody got time for that! I found my salvation in quickbreads; they use baking soda as the leavening agent and there’s no kneading and punching involved.
Thanks to our Lebanese brethren I found wheat kernels at Rene Supermarket in Ikoyi, so I was able to grind up my own flour for the bread – this is why it’s a wholegrain loaf. (See this post to understand why this matters.) If you’re not able to grind your own wheat flour, go ahead and use store bought. It won’t be whole grain, but you can improve the nutritional profile by substituting one cup of wheat flour for oat flour.
This is a full on whole foods recipe; I didn’t add any sugar or oil. The raisins provide a subtle sweetness, the coconut milk and cashews provide the fat. It doesn’t taste like raisin bread though, in case you’re wondering. It just tastes like..wheat bread. 🙂 The texture is like banana bread, quite cake-ish and crumbly. It’s a lovely basic bread and you can customise it with add-ins like nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, dried fruit – whatever you fancy.
This loaf is quite dense; you can get full after just 3 slices. It’s best enjoyed lightly toasted. Use a pan or oven though as the slices will crumble in a toaster. I had 2 pieces of toast with some homemade raisin jam for breakfast today and it was amazeballs. I’m going to try it with guacamole next. I think it would also go really well with soups – the ones for sipping, not swallowing!
What you will need
*makes an 8 inch diameter loaf
+ 3 cups wholegrain flour (or 2 cups wholewheat, 1 cup oat flour)
+ 1 cup good quality coconut milk (use the canned milk and check the nutrition info table; a good brand should have at least 14g fat – total, not per serving)
+ 1 cup soaked raw cashews
+ 1/2 cup cold water
+ 2 tablespoons raisins
+ 3 teaspoons vinegar
+ 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
+ 1 teaspoon salt
How to make it
Step 1: Soak raisins in a small amount of hot water until softened. Drain cashews and blend with coconut milk, water and vinegar. Add the raisins and blend until smooth.
Step 2: In a large bowl mix flour, baking soda and salt thoroughly with a fork or whisk. Make a well in the centre.
Step 3: Pour the liquid mixture into the flour slowly, incorporating gradually with a fork. When all the liquid is added, use hands to form the dough into a ball. It should be quite sticky but not too wet.
Step 4: Transfer the dough to a baking tray lined with baking paper and mould it into a circle. If desired,
+ brush the top with a bit of soy milk and sprinkle sesame seeds, chia seeds, oats, whatever you like
+ cut an x into the surface to decorate the loaf
Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to cool for an hour before slicing up. Wrap in clingfilm and keep refrigerated.