Chocolate Raspberry Brioche Buns: Recipe #240

These are bites of pure heaven. Chocolate raspberry brioche buns are clouds of fluffy bread stuffed with a single raspberry and a square of chocolate that melt together as they bake. You bite into one and a burst of flavor comes through the soft pillowy brioche. Magical.

We decided to bake instead of fry these, and to put chocolate + raspberry together instead of separating them.

Which brings up a great insight about how to make decisions. If you’re stuck on something, take a moment to sit quietly, be with your breath, and feel your body. Allow yourself to be present with whatever emotions or sensations come up.

Trust that you already know what to do, and trust the decision to reveal itself. It doesn’t have to be the “right” decision. Just pick something, go with it, and learn.

Thanks to Paul for this recipe’s inspiration and to all of you for being part of our delicious, mindful, planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($6.50 for 18 filled buns)

1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
1 tsp brown sugar – $0.01
1/3 cup hot soy milk (heat for 30 seconds in the microwave to reach 140F) – $0.12
1 1/2 cup white flour – $0.24
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour – $0.09
2 tbsp brown sugar – $0.06
3/4 tsp salt – $0.03
2 eggs – $0.58
Knead 10 minutes
1/2 cup Miyoko’s vegan butter, softened – $1.24
Knead 5 minutes
Fridge O/N
16 raspberries – $2.50
16 small-ish chunks of dark chocolate – $1.00
Rise 15 minutes warm place
Soy wash
Bake 350 20 mins

Directions for Chocolate Raspberry Brioche Buns

1. In a small, non-metal bowl, mix the yeast, 1 tsp brown sugar, and warmed soy milk. Stir gently to combine and let it sit for 5 minutes to form a thick foam on top of the liquid.

In a large metal bowl, mix together the flours, 2 tbsp brown sugar, and salt. Mix the eggs into the yeast mixture, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a ball, then knead by hand for 10 minutes until it’s nice and smooth.

Next, add the vegan butter, squish it in with your hands and enjoy the magnificent sound, then knead for 5 more minutes. It will be lovely and soft, and it’s ok if it’s a bit sticky.

Put the dough into a plastic bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

2. The next morning, put the dough on a lightly floured board and knead it a few times to get the air out. Use a sharp knife to cut it into 18 equal-sized pieces and shape each one into a ball.

Wash and dry your raspberries, and prepare your chocolate chunks. Flatten each ball into a disc, put a chocolate-stuffed raspberry in the middle, and fold the dough up around the raspberry. Pinch the dough together and gently roll it back into a ball, with the surprise nicely tucked inside. Repeat for each of the 18 balls.

Put the stuffed balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with cling wrap or a damp tea towel, and let them rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.

3. When the buns have doubled in size, brush them with some extra soy milk, then bake at 350F for 16-20 minutes until they’re nice and golden brown.

Cool for a few minutes, then serve your chocolate raspberry brioche buns warm, with plant-based whipped cream and dusted with icing sugar if you like. Celebrate your decision to make these delicious treats! ❀️

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes: Recipe #239

Citrus + berries is a vibrant combination with many delightful variations: orange blueberry, lime blackberry, grapefruit raspberry, and of course today’s feature of lemon strawberry cupcakes.

As we savor this recipe, let’s also take a second to remember that every piece of food we put in our mouths is a gift from the whole universe. We give thanks for all the soil, and plants, and sunshine, and rain, and farmers, and grocery store workers who came together to produce each little bite that nourishes us.

Thanks also to Isa for this recipe’s inspiration and to all of you for being part of our delicious, mindful, planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($18 for 12 cupcakes)

Cupcakes:
3/4 cup brown sugar – $0.39
1 cup soy milk – $0.37
1/4 cup coconut oil – $2.20
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
2 lemons, juiced and zested – $0.40
1 1/2 cups flour – $0.74
1 tsp baking powder – $0.02
1/4 tsp baking soda – $0.01
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03

Icing:
1 cup strawberries – $2.50
3/4 cup coconut oil – $6.60 (or use margarine if you want to save money!)
4 1/2 cups icing sugar – $3.96
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20

Directions for Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, soy milk, and coconut oil very well, then add in the vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Next, mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together just until it’s combined, without overmixing.

Scoop the batter evenly into 12 paper-lined muffin tin cups. Bake at 350F for 16-18 minutes until they spring back to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack.

2. Make the icing: blend the strawberries up in a blender, then transfer them to a large bowl, add the coconut oil or margarine, and beat with an electric mixer. Add the icing sugar in small amounts as you beat the mixture, then add the vanilla in. Refrigerate to set the icing if it’s too runny.

Once the cupcakes are cooled and the icing is set, spread the icing on top of the cupcakes. Then enjoy your lemon strawberry cupcake on behalf of all the wonderful beings who helped you make it! 🧁❀️

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:Β 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes (Vegan): Recipe #236

How can a cupcake help me become enlightened, you might ask? Or maybe you didn’t ask, but now you’re curious. Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh talks about how we can all become “part-time Buddhas” whenever we take a moment to enjoy a mindful breath, a smile, a mindful step, or… a thoroughly savored bite of cupcake! These dark chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, made without any animal ingredients, are our gift to you on your path of awakening. πŸ™‚

Thanks to Isa for inspiration, and thanks to you all for being part of our delicious, mindful, planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($14 for 24 cupcakes)

Cupcakes:
2 cups soy milk – $0.74
2 tsp apple cider vinegar – $0.20
1 1/2 cups brown sugar – $0.79
2/3 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid – $5.50
3 tsp vanilla – $0.60
1 cup flour – $0.16
1 cup white whole wheat flour – $0.18
2/3 cup cocoa powder – $0.73
1 1/2 tsp baking soda – $0.03
1 tsp baking powder – $0.02
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03

Icing:
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, room temperature – $1.16
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
2 1/2 cups icing sugar – $2.20
1/4 cup soy milk – $0.08
2 tbsp coconut oil – $1.10

Directions

1. Make the cupcakes. In a large bowl, mix the soy milk and vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes to curdle and get thick. Then mix in the brown sugar, coconut oil and vanilla. Whisk until it gets foamy.

Next, in a separate bowl, mix the flours, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then pour the dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix just until they’re combined. It will be a little bit lumpy and that’s ok.

Scoop the batter into 24 paper-lined muffin tins and bake at 350F for 18 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the muffin tins and cool on a rack.

2. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the icing. Mix the peanut butter, vanilla, icing sugar, and soy milk in a large bowl. Use a fork or an electric beater (if you have one) to combine it all together. Then add the coconut oil and keep mixing until it’s very smooth. Finally, cover the bowl and refrigerate for half an hour to firm up a bit.

3. Once the cupcakes are cool and the icing is chilled, spread the icing on the cupcakes either with a knife or using a piping bag and fancy tip. Enjoy your moment of enlightenment, savoring the darkness of the chocolate against the sweet, creamy icing. 😍

Any leftover dark chocolate peanut butter cupcakes freeze well for future mindful moments too!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:Β 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Baked Vegan Beignets: Recipe #233

Beignets are a traditional French or Louisiana breakfast of pillowy fried dough dusted with powdered sugar. We wanted to experiment with a non-fried, plant-based version, so these baked vegan beignets were born. Thank you to Kellie and Meggy for inspiration.

And thank YOU for being part of our delicious, planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($1.50 total for 16 baked vegan beignets)

6 tbsp hot water from the tap (about 130F) – free
1 + 2 tbsp brown sugar – $0.09
3/4 tsp active dry yeast – $0.15
1 vegan “egg” replacement (soak 1 tbsp ground flax seeds + 2 tbsp water in the fridge for 5 minutes) – $0.12
1/4 cup + 4 tsp soy milk – $0.13
2 tbsp melted margarine or vegan butter – $0.31
1/2 tsp vanilla – $0.10
1 cup flour – $0.16
1 cup white whole wheat flour – $0.16
Powdered sugar for dusting – $0.25

Directions

1. In a small non-metal bowl, mix the hot water, 1 tbsp brown sugar, and yeast. Stir gently and allow to sit for 5 minutes to form a layer of foam on top and activate the yeast.

Then mix in the vegan “egg” you prepared (by putting the flax seeds and water in the fridge for 5 minutes to get all thick and gloopy, like an egg). Add the 1/4 cup soy milk to the yeast-flax mixture as well, along with the melted butter and vanilla.

Next, gradually in the flour, mix well with a wooden spoon, and form into a ball of dough. Knead with your hands for 15 minutes until it gets nice and smooth. Place the ball of dough in a metal bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour to double in size.

2. When the dough has risen, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4″ thick, then use a sharp knife to cut it into 16 pieces of whatever shape you like. We did a combination of square-ish shapes and triangle-ish shapes.

Next, place them on two parchment-lined baking sheets, cover with tea towels, and let them rise in a warm place for about 30-45 minutes to about double again.

After the beignets have risen, gently brush them with the 4 tsp of soy milk, then bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes, until they’re beautifully golden and puffed up.

3. Remove from the oven and serve your baked vegan beignets hot, dusted with powdered sugar or dunked in your coffee or soy milk. They also freeze well for future breakfasts reheated in the toaster, if you have some left. Bon appetit!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:Β 2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Crusty Two-Tier Artisan Bread: Recipe #227

One of our coronavirus quarantine projects has been learning to make artisan bread of many kinds. Here’s another beautiful and delicious experiment, inspired by Paul Hollywood’s classic cottage loaf recipe. For our version of this crusty two-tier artisan bread, we used coconut oil instead of lard. So good!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($3.50 for a large loaf)

1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
1 tsp brown sugar – $0.01
1/2 cup hottest tap water – free
4 tbsp coconut oil – $2.20
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup warm water – free
2 cups white flour – $0.32
2 cups whole wheat flour – $0.36
1 tbsp salt – $0.12

Directions for Crusty Two-Tier Artisan Bread

1. In a small non-metal bowl, gently mix the yeast, brown sugar, and hottest tap water. Let it sit for 5 minutes to bloom, then add the coconut oil and warm water.

In a large metal bowl, stir together the flour and salt, then add in the yeast mixture and mix until it comes together into a nice soft ball of dough. Knead it by hand on a lightly floured board for 10 minutes to work out the gluten and make it smooth and elastic. Then put it back in the large, lightly oiled metal bowl. Rise in a warm place for about an hour to double in size.

Once it’s risen, knead the dough for 2 minutes more to knock the air out so it will rise upwards instead of flattening outwards.

The next instruction comes straight from Paul Hollywood’s expertise, since it’s a bit complicated to explain:

“Tear off one third of the dough and set aside. Shape the larger piece into a ball by first flattening the dough into a rough rectangle, then rolling it into a thick oblong. Turn the dough so that the longer edge is running away from you and flatten it slightly. Now fold in the two ends to the centre and press them down, so you end up with a chunky, squarish shape. Turn the dough over, so that the join is underneath. With your palms turned upwards, put your hands on each side, slightly under the dough. Move the cob around, tucking the dough neatly under itself as it turns. You are gently forcing the sides of the dough down and underneath, to create a smooth, taut top and a rough underside. Avoid using too much extra flour during shaping.

Place the ball of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat the rolling and shaping for the smaller piece of dough, then place the smaller ball on top of the larger ball. Flatten the top slightly. Dust your middle finger and forefinger with flour and push them through the centre of the loaf all the way to the bottom. Use a sharp knife to make 8 slashes in the surface of both the top and larger lower part of the loaf.”

When you’re done, it will look something like the photos below.

2. Gently cover the shaped dough with cling wrap and rise another 30-60 minutes in a warm place, just until it has doubled and the dough springs back when you poke it. Dust the risen loaf with flour.

3. Preheat the oven to 415F and put a large tray of water on a lower rack to heat up with the oven so it creates steam (this gives the bread a nice crunchy crust). When the oven is up to temperature, put the bread in on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven, turn the temperature down to 375F. Bake for 20-25 more minutes, until it’s crusty, golden brown, and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.

Cool on a wire rack and enjoy your crusty two-tier artisan bread as a snack or an accompaniment to any meal!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Strawberry Coconut Bread Pudding: Recipe #225

I had never tasted bread pudding before this, and now it’s one of my new favorite treats. This strawberry coconut bread pudding is a plant-based version that uses coconut milk for extra creaminess. It was inspired by a recipe in Isa Does It, a loaf of homemade challah bread, and some extra strawberries we had in the fridge.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7.50 for 9 servings in a 8×8″ pan)

6 cups cubed challah bread – $3
1 cup soy milk – $0.37
1 cup coconut milk – $1.49
3 tbsp cornstarch – $0.30
1/2 cup brown sugar – $0.26
2 tbsp lemon juice – $0.20
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
2 cups sliced strawberries – $2.49

Glaze:
1 cup icing sugar – $0.88
1 tbsp soy milk – $0.02
1-2 tsp vanilla – $0.20
1 tbsp coconut oil – $0.55

Directions for Strawberry Coconut Bread Pudding

1. Cut up the bread and put it in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the soy milk, coconut milk, cornstarch, brown sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla, then pour this over the bread and mix to coat. Let it sit for 15 minutes to soak in and get all soft and moist. Then mix in the strawberries.

2. Press the mixture into an 8×8″ pan greased with a bit of margarine, then bake at 350F for 30 minutes. The top will be a nice golden brown.

3. In a small bowl, mix the icing sugar, soy milk, vanilla, and coconut oil, then drizzle over the pudding when it has cooled for a few minutes. Serve your strawberry coconut bread pudding warm, and savor each marvelous mouthful! πŸ™‚

Sustainability ScoreΒ (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Apricot Plum Cobbler (Plant-Based): Recipe #222

Would you believe I’ve made it through 43 years on this planet without ever making a cobbler? And I don’t remember ever eating one either. What is a cobbler, you say? It’s baked fruit with fresh biscuit dough on top, which sounds spectacular! We had some soft summer fruit to use up, so we adapted a peach raspberry recipe from the fantastic book Isa Does It to make our apricot plum cobbler. Yum!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($10 for one 8×8″ pan = 9 servings)

Fruit filling:
2 cups apricots, quartered – $3.00
2 cups plums, quartered – $3.00
1 nectarine, sliced – $0.99
1 lemon, juiced – $0.20
1/2 cup brown sugar – $0.26
2 tbsp cornstarch – $0.20
2 tbsp flour – $0.02
1/4 tsp salt – $0.01

Biscuit dough:
6 tbsp soy milk – $0.14
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar – $0.27
1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour – $0.26
1-1/2 tsp baking powder – $0.05
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
3 tbsp brown sugar – $0.09
2 tbsp coconut oil – $1.10
2 tbsp margarine – $0.31
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20

Directions for Apricot Plum Cobbler

1. Bake the fruit: Mix all the fruit filling ingredients together and spread out in a greased 8×8″ pan. Cover with foil and bake at 425F for 20 minutes.

While that’s baking, make the biscuit dough: In a small bowl, mix the soy milk and vinegar. Let it sit for a minute or two to curdle. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar together. Add the coconut oil and margarine into the dry ingredients and rub it together with your fingers until it turns into crumbs. Mix the vanilla into the curdled soy milk, then add all the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix into a ball of dough. Separate the dough into 9 even balls.

2. Take the baked fruit out of the oven, remove the foil, and drop the biscuit dough balls on top of the fruit. Bake again, uncovered this time, for another 20 minutes. The biscuits will get golden brown when it’s done, and the fruit mixture will bubble up. Remove the cobbler from the oven.

Use a large spoon to scoop out a whole biscuit and all the fruit underneath it into a bowl. Serve your apricot plum cobbler warm as is or with non-dairy yogurt/ice cream. Enjoy!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Black Forest Cupcakes (Very Fudgy!): Recipe #212

The normal chocolate-cherry combination typical of German black forest cake isn’t my favorite flavor medley, but with apricots and the extreme fudginess of this recipe, I could eat these black forest cupcakes all day long! It’s a modification of our chocolate zucchini cake recipe, only fudgier. Hope you enjoy this decadent and healthy plant-based treat. πŸ™‚

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($8 for 12 cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes)

Cupcake batter:
1 cups white flour – $0.16
2 cup whole wheat flour – $0.32
3/4 cup cocoa – $0.83
2 tsp baking powder – $0.03
1/2 tsp baking soda – $0.01
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
3/4 cup brown sugar – $0.39
1 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks – $1.25
1 cup soy milk – $0.28
3/4 cup canola oil – $0.56
3 eggs – $0.87
1 tbsp vanilla – $1.00
2 cups grated zucchini – $1.40

Icing:
2 tbsp apricot jam – $0.16
1 tbsp soy milk – $0.02
1/2 cup icing sugar – $0.44

Directions for Black Forest Cupcakes

1. Make the batter base: In a large bowl, mix the flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and chocolate chips. Stir to combine. Add in the soy milk, canola oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix well.

Grate and add the zucchini to the chocolate batter, and fold it in with a spatula until the zucchini is evenly distributed throughout the batter.

2. Pour the batter into cupcake tins lined with cupcake wrappers – we filled 3 tins to make 12 large cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes. Bake at 350F for 20 mins (large cupcakes) and then 9 mins (mini cupcakes).

Make the icing by mixing together all the ingredients for that, adding more icing sugar if you want it thicker.

3. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy your black forest cupcakes just as they are, drizzled with icing, or topped with non-dairy ice cream!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Japanese Milk Bread (Plant-Based): Recipe #209

The overnight rise in this recipe is totally worth the fluffy, soft texture for which Japanese milk bread is known. It’s an unusual, brioche-like bread recipe that starts with making a kind of roux, or thick flour paste, that gets mixed into the rest of the dough as you go. Then it gets finished off with a lovely maple glaze. It’s versatile enough to pair with any soup or stew you like, or to be toasted as part of a sumptuous breakfast. Thanks to Hannah for inspiration.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($3 for 1 large loaf)

Flour paste:
1/4 cup flour – $0.04
2/3 cup unsweetened soy milk – $0.25

Dough:
1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
1 tsp brown sugar – $0.01
1/3 cup hottest tap water – free
1/3 cup + 3 tbsp soy milk – $0.19
3 cups white + 1/3 cup whole wheat flour (plus extra as needed) – $0.53
1/4 cup brown sugar – $0.13
1 tsp salt – $0.05
3 tbsp Miyoko’s vegan butter, softened – $1.31

Glaze:
1/2 tbsp maple syrup – $0.12
1 tbsp water – free

Directions for Japanese Milk Bread

1. Make the flour paste: in a small pan, mix the flour and soy milk together until smooth. Turn the heat onto medium-low and whisk continuously until you get a thick paste. Remove from heat and cover the surface of the paste with parchment paper, then cool to room temperature.

Next, in a small non-metal bowl, gently mix together the yeast, brown sugar, and hottest tap water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to form a thick foam, then stir in the soy milk.

In a large metal bowl, mix together the flours, brown sugar and salt. Add the cooled flour paste and yeast mixture, then stir it until it comes together into a ball of dough. Knead for 10 minutes by hand, adding small amounts of flour if it really sticks to your fingers. The dough will be nice and soft and elastic. Then add the vegan butter and knead for 10 more minutes to thoroughly incorporate the butter into the dough so it’s not oily.

Put the dough in large bowl, cover and leave it in the fridge overnight to rise and double in size.

2. The next day, punch the dough down to release the air, then divide it into 4 pieces. Use a rolling pin to roll each piece out into an oval, then fold the oval in thirds to make a long rectangle (see picture below). Roll out the rectangle to seal the seam, then use your hands to roll it up from one end to make a stubby, tight spiral. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and put each spiral into the loaf pan with the seam at the bottom. They should be wedged in next to each other nicely. Cover and rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours until doubled in size again.

3. After the dough has risen, use a pastry brush to gently coat the top with the maple syrup and water mixture.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes until it’s nice and dark golden on top, or until a thermometer inserted into the loaf measures over 200F. When it’s ready, remove the bread from the oven, cool it in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Pull the sections apart and slice to your desired thickness. Enjoy your Japanese milk bread warm or have it toasted the next day. Freeze any leftovers in a sealed container or bag for future eating!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Fluffy Twister Bagels: Recipe #205

We’ve tried a number of bagel and soft pretzel recipes now, and this one is by far the best! The flavor that comes through with the overnight rising is unbelievable, and boiling them in honey water instead of baking soda makes it taste legit – just like a bakery in Toronto I used to go to. As soon as we finish eating one batch of twister bagels we start making another one! Thanks to Sally for some key refinements to our previous recipes.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($4 total for 8 twister bagels)

1 tbsp active dry yeast – $0.50
1 tbsp brown sugar – $0.37
1+1/2 cups hottest tap water – free
3 cups white + 1 cup whole wheat flour – $0.64
1 tbsp salt – $0.12
1 tbsp olive oil to coat the rising bowl – $0.10
1/4 cup honey – $0.56
8 cups water – free
Bagel toppings (1 tbsp each sesame seeds and poppy seeds) – $1.40
1 egg, beaten – $0.29

Directions

1. In a small plastic (non-metal) bowl, mix the yeast and brown sugar, then add the hottest tap water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to form a foam over the surface. In a separate, larger bowl, mix the flours and salt.

Add the yeast mixture to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together. Use your hands to knead it for about 7-10 minutes. Rub the olive oil around the larger bowl, then add the dough ball to it. Cover and let rise in the fridge overnight. It will about double in size.

2. In the morning, take the dough out from the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for 45 minutes before working with it.

Punch the dough down and cut it into 16 equal parts, then roll out each part into a thin rope about 6″ long. Pinch two ropes together at one end and then twist them around each other. After twisting the whole length of the ropes, pinch to join the two ends together in a circle to make a twisted bagel shape. See the pictures below to help you out.

Repeat for all the pieces of dough until you get 8 twisted bagels. Let the bagels rest while you prepare the water bath.

3. Heat the 8 cups water and honey in a large pot until it boils. Turn the heat down to simmering (medium or medium-high) and gently place a few bagels in at a time. They will float to the top. If they don’t, gently loosen them from the bottom of the pot with a spatula. Cook for 1 minute, then flip them over and cook for 1 minute more. 

Brush the boiled twister bagels with the beaten egg, then dip them in a bowl of mixed sesame and poppy seeds if desired. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 425F for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for 10 more minutes. They will be a nice deep golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy fresh with a salad or with your favorite sandwich fillings, or store in the freezer for eating later!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!