No-Hassle Soy Bread

This is a slight adaptation of Natural Land's Thirty-Percent Soy Bread - I can't easily get the wheat gluten used in their recipe, so I increase the proportion of wheat flour to compensate. I also prefer to use ordinary dried yeast, rather than the easy-blend yeast used in their version, as I find the additional hassle to be minimal and the rise a lot better. This bread requires no actual kneading, since its slow overnight rise is sufficient to allow the gluten to develop, but be aware that this means you need to start this bread the day before you want to bake it.

Using soya flour in baking tends to make loaves full-flavoured, dense and with a thick, chewy crust; you can get a thinner, softer crust by making long, thin, baguette-shaped loaves that only need a short baking time. Flat ciabatta shapes also work well. If you like a very dark, chewy crust, just make one large loaf, and increase the baking time by 20-30 minutes.

Makes 2 small loaves or 1 large

Warm half of the soya milk (I do it in the measuring jug in the microwave) and stir in the dried yeast. Invert a mixing bowl over the top of the jug and leave for about 15 minutes, until the yeast froths up. Yeast seems to love soya milk, so it'll froth lots - if it doesn't froth, then it's dead, so throw it away and buy more.

Once the yeast has frothed, whisk the froth back into the liquid with a fork, then pour into the mixing bowl. Add the remaining soya milk (measure it in the same jug, to help you get all the yeast mixture out) and mix well, then sift in the bread flour, soya flour and salt (sifting's not strictly necessary, but it's a good way to mix the flours together, and soya flour does tend to be clumpy). Stir the ingredients together, just enough to mix together and moisten all of the flour, then cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 10 hours.

The next day, remove the dough from the fridge, and allow to come to room temperature (about an hour). Knead briefly if necessary to smooth out the texture, then shape into two loaves. The dough should be slightly sticky, so do this on a floured surface. Place loaves on a large baking sheet or tray, cover with a clean towel, and leave to rise for an hour, or until roughly doubled in size. Don't let them over-prove, as this will affect the flavour and texture adversely.

Bake for 20 minutes (long thin loaves) or longer (thicker loaves) at Gas 6 (200oC, 400oF). Leave to cool before eating, to allow the crumb to set properly.


Kake's (Vegan) Cookery Site - http://www.earth.li/~kake/cookery/
This page added 15 Apr 2001 (last altered 8 Aug 2001) - comments and questions to Kake L Pugh (kake@earth.li).