Happy New Year! – Vegan Cheesy Bread

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a good 2012, and if not, I hope 2013 treats you better! Last year, my New Years Resolution was to learn how to make bread. I’m happy to say I feel like I’ve accomplished that goal. Sure, there will always be more to learn about breadmaking, but I’m feeling more confident about my ability to make a decent basic loaf of bread.

This year, I think my New Year resolution will be to try new ingredients that I’ve never used before. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and use ingredients you are comfortable with, but I’m hoping to branch out and learn to cook new things. But before we move on to 2013, here’s a send off to 2012’s resolution. This isn’t an entirely new recipe, but one that I repurposed to recreate a yummy flatbread pizza.

American Flatbread has a new vegan pizza which I got at Whole Foods. I’ve been told it resembles Papa Johns Cheese Bread pretty closely, though I’ve never had it myself. I wanted to try creating a similar version at home that would be cheaper since their frozen pizzas are small and a little pricey. It turns out the vegan naan recipe I posted a while back makes really yummy vegan cheesy bread! It’s perfect for a New Year party, and you still have time to get the dough started! Happy New Year everyone!

Ingredients:

naan dough (see recipe for ingredients and directions)
Daiya vegan cheese
garlic powder
salt
dried basil
dried oregano

Directions:

  • Follow the recipe for making naan dough. It’s a very easy recipe, but it takes 1 1/2 hours to rise and you also have to roll it out, so factor in that time. When you get to the step where you are rolling the dough into balls, create a baseball to softball sized ball rather than a golf ball sized ball.
  • Once the dough is finished the second rise, roll it out fairly thin (about 1/4 inch thick or slightly thicker is good). Heat your skillet over medium high and drizzle in a little olive oil. Cook the naan on one side for 2-3 minutes until bubbles brown, then flip the naan to cook the other size.
  • As the other side cooks, sprinkle garlic powder, salt, dried basil, and dried oregano on top of the naan. Then sprinkle on Daiya cheese. Lower your heat slightly so the naan doesn’t burn. Cover the skillet with a lid so the Daiya melts. Once the daiya is melted, transfer it to a plate or cutting board and slice. This makes a perfect side to a nice bowl of homemade soup!

Also, here are a few of my bread making adventures from the past year, in case you missed them or want to look back.

Braided Italian Sesame Bread
Rye Bread
Rosemary Dill Bread
Soft Pretzel Rolls
Naan
Cinnamon Buns – (Okay these aren’t technically bread, but they are made from a yeast dough that rises…close enough! They are seriously yummy!)

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Happy New Year! Braided Italian Sesame Bread

Happy New Year everyone! I don’t usually make a New Years Resolution. My personality (and being a stereotypical Aries) leads me to constantly evaluate where I’ve been, where I’m going, and how I’m getting there, so a New Year’s Resolution has always seemed a little redundant.

But there is something I’ve wanted to learn how to do for a while that for some reason I haven’t done… and that’s bread making. So my New Year’s Resolution for 2012 is to learn how to make different types of bread and to make them well. My parents baked homemade bread when I was growing up and there’s just nothing like bread fresh from the oven.

Here is my first attempt at homemade bread, besides helping my parents as a kid. It came out well and was surprisingly quite easy. Here’s to more homemade bread in 2012!

Is anyone else making a New Years resolution this year? What do you hope to accomplish in 2012?

I wanted a recipe I could trust to work, so I went to King Arthur’s site figuring they would be reliable. I stuck pretty closely to their recipe for Italian Sesame Bread, but added a little more oil and water to make it doughy. It was a little too dry without these additions. I also used soy milk instead of bread shine.

Ingredients
3 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast ( I used a whole packet which is slightly more than 2 tsp)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup plus 2 to 5 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds or whole flax seeds
soy milk

Directions

  • Mix the flour, yeast, and salt together. Then add the olive oil and water one tablespoon at a time until the dough holds together enough to knead.
  • Knead the dough by hand, bread machine or food processor, until the dough is smooth and elastic. I kneaded it by hand for about 5-7 minutes. If you need info on how to knead dough, here’s a helpful video that I’ve included in previous posts.
  • After kneading, place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat it. Cover it and allow it to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Gently deflate the dough by pressing down on it. Divide it into three equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 20-inch log, tapering the ends slightly. Place the logs on a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Braid them loosely, pinch the ends together, and tuck them under. Cover the braid and allow it to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it’s almost doubled in size.
  • Toast the sesame seeds in a pan over low heat. They can quickly go from toasted to burned, so keep them moving in the pan. It doesn’t take very long to toast them.
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Once the dough is done rising, brush a little soy milk over the braid. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.
  • Bake the braid for 20 to 25 minutes, until it’s golden brown. (Tent it lightly with aluminum foil after 15 minutes, if it appears to be browning too quickly.)
  • Remove the braid from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack.