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A vegan bread suitable for Thanksgiving or Christmas! This is so good you non-vegetarian guests won't even notice it isn't their "regular" braided bread. This has the prettiest russet color for the fall/winter dinner table!
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1⁄4 cup lukewarm water
- 1⁄4 cup safflower oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1⁄2 cups cooked well-mashed sweet potatoes
- 3 tablespoons honey (or honey substitute, e.g. maple syrup)
- 1 cup soymilk
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 1⁄2 cup cornmeal
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- soymilk, to brush tops of loaves
- Combine the yeast and the water in a medium mixing bowl and let stand for 10 minutes, or until dissolved.
- Stir in the oil and thyme, then the mashed sweet potato, honey, and soymilk.
- Stir gently until the mixture is smooth.
- In another bowl, combine the flours, cornmeal, and salt.
- Make a well in the center and pour in the wet mixture.
- Work together, using a spoon at first, then hands, until thoroughly combined into a dough.
- Turn out onto a floured board and knead for 8-10 minutes, adding additional flour until the dough loses its stickiness.
- Place in a clean bowl and cover with a tea towel.
- Let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.
- Punch the dough down and turn back out onto the board.
- Divide into six equal pieces.
- With hands, roll each piece into a long coil, about 1" in diameter.
- To make each loaf, braid three coils and pinch the ends together.
- Place the loaves on a floured baking sheet, cover with the tea towel, and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Brush the tops of the loaves with soymilk.
- Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the tops are golden and the loaves feel hollow when tapped.
This is a wonderful bread! I substituted canola oil for the safflower and used coconut milk for the soy. No measuring adjustments needed. I just kneaded it in my Kitchen Aide and the dough came out beautiful! Made a beautifully braided bread!
I thought this was a great base bread. It goes fantastic with a hearty soup. and the crumb is nice and tight. I added an extra 1/2 cup of white flour to help with the gluten development, and kneaded it in a mixer with a dough hook. for home proofing I set the shaped loaves on a pan and in a garbage bag. they baked up perfect. I'm baking off another round with some fruit and nuts this weekend!
This dough really was a pain in the rear to work with. I added at least another 2 cups of flour to the dough while kneading to try to keep it from sticking. Once finished, we didn't care for the taste of the bread, either. There was just way to much work involved in this one for the results.