Vegan Bread Recipes: Perhaps one of the best parts of going to a restaurant (other than the meal itself) has to be the free bread that comes with the dinner. Usually buttery and soft or dense and rich, the bread compliments the style of food the restaurant offers and adds a little extra touch to your dining experience.
Even at home, no family-style meal is complete without bread. Rolls, cornbread, biscuits, and garlic bread are all must-haves. In fact, many people statistically claim that having a slice of buttery garlic toast to go with a pasta dish makes it significantly better. While this buttery texture is usually achieved through the use of animal products, you can, fortunately, create something equally delicious with the help of a vegan bread recipes!
Since humans first developed the skill of cooking, bread has been a staple. Globally, hundreds of bread recipes exist, ranging from the delicious flat breads of India and the Mediterranean to the chewy baguettes of France, bread is a cultural experience just as much as it is a food. Let’s explore two amazing vegan bread recipes and learn a little about their cultural significance as we cook!
The Vegan Bread Recipes
1. Classic French Bread Recipes
Since around the 18th century, the French have been making baguettes, a type of thin, elongated bread meant to accompany other dishes. With a name that literally translates to “baton or stick”, this bread is a cornerstone of what the rest of the world associates with French culture. If asked to name three things associated with France, you will probably hear something along the lines of, “baguette, cheese, escargot”, which is fair considering France has some of the most delicious foods on the planet. Here is how to make a vegan version of this classic accompaniment.
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 2 ¼ tsp activated yeast (around one packet)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 ½ cup warm water
How to Make French Bread Recipes
- Place the yeast in a bowl with the sugar and ½ cup of the water and allow it to sit and become active. This should take around five minutes and it will appear frothy when ready.
- In a bowl, mix part of the flour and the remaining water in a bowl, slowly adding more flour as you knead the dough together.
- Add the yeast water as you add more flour until all of the flour has been incorporated and the yeast is fully added
- Knead until a dough ball has formed
- Place in an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled in size, usually around an hour
- Chop dough in half and form two balls
- Punch each ball into a flat disc and roll into a cylinder
- Roll cylinder into a 12-inch rope
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper and add the rope
- Cover and let rise for another hour
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Spray the walls of the oven lightly with water to increase humidity just before adding the loaves.
- Cut gashes on the top of the loaves, being careful not to saw or the dough will deflate
- Bake for around 30 minutes
- Let cool and enjoy
2. German Pumpernickel
While not technically a true pumpernickel, this bread is a delicious, vegan take on a classic German bread. In Germany, bread is served with most meals and is generally dense and rather dark. Utterly delicious, German bread is perfect for winter months or to accompany chili and soups. Be warned, this recipe is a multi-day process that involves curating a yeast batch that is strong enough to give the typical German flavoring to this bread. It has been adapted from this recipe from One Green Planet.
- ⅔ cups warm water
- 1 cup rye flour
- 1 tsp fresh, active yeast
- 1 cup bread flour
- Additional ⅔ cup water
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 2 tbsp yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
Making the Yeast
- Do this 24 hours before baking the bread
- In a bowl, combine ⅔ cups of warm water, 1 tsp yeast, and 1 cup rye flour and mix until well blended. Use a knife to ensure all of it is scraped from the sides and into the dough ball and cover it overnight.
- Combine the remaining yeast and water. Add the rest of the ingredients including the yeast blend you made the day before. Mix well and knead for around 10 minutes to establish proper texture.
- Place in an oiled bowl and let it sit for around an hour to rise
- Lightly flour coat the dough and move it to a baking dish or loaf pan that has been coated with parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 480 degrees
- Cut a few slashes into the top of the dough, being careful not to saw
- Put the lid on baking dish or loaf pan and bake for thirty minutes
- Remove lid and bake for five or six more minutes
- Let cool and slice
Bread and Beyond
You can bake breads for just about any occasion quite easily with these two recipes. There are also vegan alternatives for almost every imaginable forms of bread out there so start experimenting. You just might find a new favorite!