Sunday, December 23, 2007


Best Blog Tips


This will be the last blog for a week or so, as I have lots of family coming tomorrow, and then DH and I go to Vancouver for a couple of days. We're just getting together to have a good time together, eat good food, and enjoy some down time. DH and I just put the tree and lights up yesterday. Presents are only for the grandchildren-- no orgy of spending!

Here's a little gift for you-- these rolls are lovely for a holiday breakfast!

Printable Recipe

These light cinnamon rolls have the goodness of pureed pumpkin swirled in with the usual cinnamon-sugar mix. The dough is easily made in your bread machine. AND there is less than 1 tsp. of vegan butter in each roll! PS: If you prefer, you can knead with a stand mixer or by hand (but don't add too much flour while kneading-- oil your hands and the kneading surface if necessary)

1 cup warm nondairy milk (soy milk is the best for this type of baking, as it makes a soft roll-- try nut milk if you can't eat soy)
3/4 cups warm water
2 Tbs. vegan butter, in small pieces (try my homemade palm oil-free vegan Buttah)
4 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup organic unbleached sugar
1/4 cup mashed potato flakes (can be organic)
1 tbs. salt
2 tsp. dry active baking yeast (or 1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vegan butter, softened (try my homemade palm oil-free vegan Buttah)
1 cup solid-pack canned (unsweetened) pumpkin OR mashed, drained cooked winter squash
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup organic powdered sugar
2 Tbs nondairy milk

place the dough ingredients in your bread machine in the order given, cover and set on the dough cycle.

Meanwhile, make the filling:
Combine the brown sugar and Earth Balance well, then stir in the pumpkin and cinnamon. Set aside.

To assemble:
When the Dough Cycle is finished, remove the dough and, on lightly floured cooking parchment, roll out the dough into an 18 x 13-inch rectangle. Spread the Filling to within 1 inch of the long sides. Sprinkle with the pecans and cranberries. Roll up the dough like a jelly roll, folding the long side nearest you in and rolling away from you. Seal the edges.

With a sharp serrated knife, cut the cylinder in half, then cut each half into 12 rolls.

Place the rolls cut-side-down in a greased 10x17-inch baking pan. Cover and rise in a warm place until doubled.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the risen rolls for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool slightly on a rack. Mix the Glaze ingredients together and drizzle over the warm rolls. Serve warm.

Serves 24
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving):
218.8 calories; 26% calories from fat; 6.7g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 329.0mg sodium; 127.1mg potassium; 36.4g carbohydrates; 2.6g fiber; 7.2g sugar; 3.8g protein; 5.5 points.

Love and light,

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Best Blog Tips

I've been intrigued by cocoa nibs lately. They are in vogue right now, but many are at a loss as how to use them (me, too!). Loving almost all things chocolate, I bought some at my natural foods store and began researching. They are not sweetened, so they have a deep, slightly bitter flavor, and a crunchy texture.

In my research, I found an article about cocoa nibs by Alice Medrich on the Scharffen Berger Chocolate website (I did have a link to this, but they seem to have removed the article and I can't find it online anymore), a cookbook writer of great renown in the chocolate world and beyond.

She wrote: "Cocoa nibs are the purest, most elemental form of chocolate available. Curious chocolate lovers and cooks should be excited. Nibs are tiny nuggets of roasted cocoa beans, not yet crushed or ground to homogeneity, not yet transformed into unsweetened chocolate or processed into smoother or more refined forms of sweetened chocolate. In short, nibs are cocoa beans on the brink of becoming chocolate and, as such, they are a unique and fascinating new ingredient."

She ends the article:

"Over the last several months, I have tried nibs in almost everything, from hors d'oeuvres to dessert. Lesson No. 1 is: Do not expect nibs to act like chocolate chips; they are neither sweet, smooth nor soft.

With the idea of exploring the nut-like qualities of nibs, I started my experiments by baking all kinds of cookies. Butter cookies are an especially good medium. The nutty-but-chocolatey flavors in the nibs infuse the rich cookie gradually, getting more pronounced over a few days, during which time the flavor and texture of a butter cookie always improves anyway. The cookie is crunchy and the nibs are, delightfully, even crunchier; a happy union. I've found that nibs work best in cookies that bake for a relatively short time. Long baking, or twice baking as for biscotti, often results in excessive bitterness.

A few sweet and savory ideas

Here are some ideas for using cocoa nibs in your home.

Grind some nibs with coffee beans before making coffee

Sprinkle nibs, as you would toasted nuts, on a simple salad of field greens dressed with good olive oil and red wine vinegar

Add nibs to Bolognese sauce (vegan, of course! BCG)

Make your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe but omit the chocolate chips. Add 2/3 cup of coarsely chopped nibs and 1 cup each currants (or raisins) and walnuts. Make the cookies small and dainty.

Sprinkle nibs on bread and butter; sprinkle with sugar if desired.

Sprinkle nibs over ice cream"

I wasn't too impressed with them in the chocolate chip cookie, but thought they might have possibilities in a savory dish. I think she's right in her assessment that they shine in a simple cookie, such as a "butter" cookie. I've always loved Mexican dishes containing chocolate, but there are some savory Italian dishes that could handle some chocolate, as well. I am working on some ideas!

In the meantime, I got Alice's book Bittersweet out of the library and found that she had some interesting savory dishes in it. The following soup intrigued me, and I happened to have roasted two large squash the day before, so I decided to veganize it. Despite some remarks by reviewers that this recipe sounded "weird" or "strange", we loved it! When you stir the cocoa creme into your portion of the soup, it adds such a depth of flavor!

Printable Recipe

Servings: 6  (Gluten-Free and can be Soy-Free)
"A perfectly delicious fall soup with the added delight of drizzled cream infused with crushed cocoa beans." The original recipe is from Alice Medrich's book "Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate" (Artisan, NY, 2003).

It IS perfectly delicious! I veganized this, used a slightly-different cooking method, and added a few minor touches of my own. It just seemed to need a little boost when I tasted it in the pot, which is why I added the agave and sherry.

1 3/4 lb oven-roasted , peeled butternut squash
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
6 cups chicken-style vegetarian bouillon-- I like Better Than Bouillon Vegan No-Chicken Soup Base (the original recipe called for only 4 cups, but I added 2 cups more because my soup was too thick)
1/4 cup dry sherry (my addition- BCG)
1 Tbs chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1 tsp dried-- but NOT powdered- BCG)
1 Tbs agave nectar (my addition- BCG)
1/2 tsp salt
freshly-ground white pepper
Vegan Cocoa Creme:
3 Tbs cocoa nibs (crushed as directed in recipe below)
2 Tbs full-fat soymilk or nut milk
2 Tbs vegan coffee creamer
6 Tbs vegan sour creme, commercial or homemade (my tofu sour creme and my cashew sour creme)

In the original recipe:
2 1/2 to 3 lbs. butternut squash was called for, quartered, peeled and seeded and cut into chunks, then roasted with the onions (cut into 8ths), olive oil and salt at 450°F for 25 minutes or until tender.

In my version of the recipe:
I had already roasted quite a bit of squash the same way, minus the salt, so I used 1 3/4 lb. pre-roasted, peeled squash, and I sautéed the onion, chopped, in the olive oil right in the pot, and added the salt to the soup.

So, here's what I did:
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onions over medium-high heat until tender and a little browned. Add the squash, bouillon, sherry, agave, sage, and salt. Simmer briefly while you prepare the Creme.

Crush the cocoa nibs with a rolling pin between sheets of cooking parchment. Mix the cocoa nibs with the soy or nut milk in a small pitcher and microwave at half power for 1 minute, or bring to a simmer in a small saucepan, to infuse the milk with the cocoa flavor. Mix together the creamer and sour creme with a small whisk. Mix in the cocoa/milk mixture. Set aside.

Puree the soup in the pot with a hand immersion blender untl very smooth. Add the pepper and taste for salt.

Divide between 6 soup bowls. Drizzle the cocoa creme over each bowl and serve.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving):
134.7 calories; 33% calories from fat; 5.2g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 218.3mg sodium; 331.8mg potassium; 19.2g carbohydrates; 1.3g fiber; 4.3g sugar; 17.9g net carbs; 2.7g protein; 2.9 points.


Saturday, December 15, 2007


Best Blog Tips

UPDATED DEC. 15, 2010: (See soy-free variation below)
I've been hearing about Silk's Pumpkin Spice Soymilk, but I can't find it where I live, so I decided to make my own. I looked around for some recipes on the 'Net, but most seemed to involve inordinate amounts of cream and ice cream, or the vegan equivilants. Well, that's a milkshake! I wanted to make something lighter, and still festive. So, I started with my Vegan "Eggnog" recipe from my book "The Almost No-Fat Holiday Cookbook", and worked from there until we were satisfied-- very satisfied!

And just what is a "nog", anyway? Well, Nanna Rognvaldardottir of Iceland, in her article on the history of eggnog, states that the drink adopted the nog part of its name from the word noggin, a Middle English phrase used to describe a small, wooden, carved mug in which to serve alcohol.

She writes: "It all began in England, where eggnog was the trademark drink of the upper class. "You have to remember, the average Londoner rarely saw a glass of milk," says author/historian James Humes (July 1997, "To Humes It May Concern"), former speech writer and adviser to four presidents. "There was no refrigeration, and the farms belonged to the big estates. Those who could get milk and eggs to make eggnog mixed it with brandy or Madeira or even sherry." But it became most popular in America, where farms and dairy products were plentiful, as was rum. Rum came to these shores via the Triangular Trade from the Caribbean; thus it was far more affordable than the heavily taxed brandy or other European spirits that it replaced at our forefather's holiday revels.

An English creation, it descended from a hot British drink called posset, which consists of eggs, milk, and ale or wine. The recipe for eggnog (eggs beaten with sugar, milk or cream, and some kind of spirit) has traveled well, adapting to local tastes wherever it has landed. In the American South, bourbon replaced ale (though nog, the British slang for strong ale, stuck). Rich, strong eggnog — the richer and stronger, the better — is no stranger to holiday celebrations in New Orleans, and at this time of year the drink takes its place alongside syllabubs on the traditional southern table. (Syllabub is a less potent mixture than eggnog but just as rich. Made with milk, sugar and wine, it straddles the line between drink and liquid dessert.)

Eggnog goes by the name coquito in Puerto Rico, where, not surprisingly, rum is the liquor of choice (as it is these days for many eggnog lovers in the U.S.). There the drink has the added appeal of being made with fresh coconut juice or coconut milk. Mexican eggnog, known as rompope, was created in the convent of Santa Clara in the state of Puebla. The basic recipe is augmented with a heavy dose of Mexican cinnamon and rum or grain alcohol, and the resulting drink is sipped as a liqueur. In Peru [where my father was born--BCG] holidays are celebrated with a biblia con pisco, an eggnog made with the Peruvian pomace brandy called pisco."

So, no ice cream involved! I think my drink qualifies as a nog-- at least, it does when you add the rum! But it can be called a "soynog" instead of an "eggnog". (SEE THE NEW SOY-FREE VARIATION BELOW)

I find that the silken tofu gives the drink a richness and smoothness that the eggs would give you, and the pumpkin gives it a depth of taste, in a subtle way, and a warmth of color.

Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S PUMPKIN-SPICE NOG (can be soy-free) (Revised Dec. 14th 2011)

Serves 6
This is festive and rich-tasting, yet light enough to have for a snack or even a breakfast drink. I like the spices to be subtle-- but season to your own taste. For convenience, the Base Nog Mix can be made well ahead of time and refrigerated. You can then add the optional liquor and ice cubes and blend just before serving.

12.3 oz. (1 box) extra-firm SILKEN tofu
(OR, for SF, omit silken tofu and use 3/4 cup raw cashews [soak in boiling water for 10 minutes; drain] + 3/4 cup nondairy milk of choice.  Blend this until ABSOLUTELY smooth before adding to recipe.)
1 1/2 cups nondairy milk of choice
3/4 cup canned pureed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!) or, if you use home-cooked pureed pumpkin, strain it in a cheesecloth bag for several hours to make it the same consistency as the canned variety
9 Tbs brown sugar
3/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp (generous) ground cloves
1/8 tsp (generous) salt
3/4 cup organic soy creamer, OR, for SF, So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer (original), or a homemade nut cream instead of the soy creamer.
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
18 ice cubes
1/2 cup rum, or you can use bourbon or brandy (can be spiced rum) (Optional-- if you do not want to use liquor, you could use a little natural rum extract.)
GARNISH: freshly-ground nutmeg; cinnamon sticks

Crumble the tofu into a blender. Add the nondairy milk, pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Blend until smooth. Add the vanilla and creamer and blend again.

At this point, you can refrigerated the picture in a covered container for a couple of days, if necessary.

Just before servingblend the Base Nog Mix in a large blender with the optional liquor and the ice cubes. Blend until smooth and frothy and thickened.

(TIP: If you don't need it all at once, blend HALF of the Base Nog Mix with half of the optional liquor, and 9 ice cubes. Blend until smooth and frothy and thickened. Repeat again later for the second half of the recipe.)

Serve immediately in small glasses or cups, garnishing with grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.

Servings: 6

Nutrition Facts were calculated using the basic recipe, not the soy-free variation.
Nutrition Facts without rum:
Nutrition (per serving):
167.6 calories; 21% calories from fat; 3.7g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 96.2mg sodium; 299.0mg potassium; 27.7g carbohydrates; 1.2g fiber; 22.9g sugar; 26.5g net carbs; 6.1g protein; 3.4 points.

Nutrition facts with rum added:
Nutrition (per serving):
210.5 calories; 16% calories from fat; 3.7g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 96.4mg sodium; 299.3mg potassium; 27.7g carbohydrates; 1.2g fiber; 22.9g sugar; 26.5g net carbs; 6.1g protein; 4.3 points.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Best Blog Tips I just had to show you this--- my mother, Eve Urbina, was 90 years old in early November this year. Here is a photo of her at a family birthday party for her. She is still beautiful!

Okay, now about that pâté...

I think this pâté is my closest to "the real thing". This elegant pâté makes an excellent spread on celery sticks, crackers, rye crisp, melba toast, regular toast, bruschetta, or pita crisps, and an elegant starter when served with crusty French bread on a bed of lettuce; or scrumptious sandwich material. I take it to our neighborhood potluck every year, to rave reviews from all the omnis!  The recipe will be in my new book, coming out August 2011.

NOTE: I made this in the Vita-Mix this year-- a double batch, actually-- and it was super-smooth!


Sunday, December 9, 2007


Best Blog Tips
Mocha Devastation Cake, cake and photo by Hannah Kaminsky

Not my treats this time, but delectable vegan desserts presented in a new book called My Sweet Vegan by Hannah Kaminsky of the bittersweet blog. I was privileged to see a copy of the proofs before it was published and to write a "blurb" for the cover. Unfortunately, my piece was not there in time for the printing, but it's on the book's webpage, and here's what I wrote (and I meant every word of it!):

"This is going to be the book vegans reach for on special occasions, or when company comes, or just for those times when your sweet tooth gets the better of you! There is an amazing variety of goodies, from simple to sublime, even some gluten-free and diabetic-friendly! Hannah pays attention to detail and I especially like her well-written instructions, and notes on ingredients and equipment, important for new vegan cooks and bakers. Most of the recipes call very easily-accessible ingredients, and even in the odd recipe where she uses ingredients in an unusual way, they should not be difficult to find. And a plus-- the fat content in most of the recipes is not excessive. This book will be happily splattered and dog-eared by use in no time!"
~ Bryanna Clark Grogan, author of 'Nonna's Italian Kitchen' and 8 other vegan cookbooks, and The Vegan Feast Newsletter

Hannah Kaminsky at work

I'm sure that Hannah must be sorely tired of hearing this, but it is quite amazing that she is only 18 years old and not only has she created a huge repertoire of fabulous vegan desserts, but she has written such a professional book! There is even a food-allergy index in the back of the book (gluten-free, wheat-free, peanut-free, tree nut free, and soy-free). And, in addition, she also created all of the beautiful photos in the book! Congratulations are definitely in order!

The first recipe that I tried from the book was the Plum-Good Crumb Cake, with little plums from a tree in our yard. Fantastic! Here's a photo of it from Hannah's book:

photo by Hannah Kaminsky

Buy some copies of this book for holiday gifts-- especially one for yourself! It is available from various outlets-- this page has a list of links. NOTE FOR CANADIANS: There is some difficulty with at the moment-- the book is not appearing as it should. However, it is actually less expensive for Canadians to purchase the book from right now due to the exchange. The Canadian shipping is very inexpensive right now. So, you don't have to hold out for Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe also has it on sale, and they ship internationally without a problem.

Here are photos of just a few of the recipes in My Sweet Vegan, all courtesy of Hannah and Fleming Ink:

Not-Nog Cupcakes, photo by Hannah Kaminsky

Peanut-Plus Cookies (gluten-free, with a surprise ingredient!, photo by Hannah Kaminsky)

Silken Chocolate Mousse Cake, photo by Hannah Kaminsky

Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling, photo by Hannah Kaminsky

Mexican Chocolate Torte, photo by Hannah Kaminsky

Brilliant Berry Parfaits, photo by Hannah Kaminsky


Saturday, December 1, 2007


Best Blog Tips

...why not make yourself a supply of homemade burger buns to keep in the freezer? I am always disappointed with storebought burger buns, even wholewheat ones.

BTW, before I go on, I'm sorry my blog posts have been so few and far between lately. I've a.) been fighting a cough; b.) been doing all DH's chores as well as my own because he was gone for 10 days; c.) we've had 4-- count'em-- 4 family members in and out of hospital in the last few weeks (all will be okay); and d.) been working hard on recipes for the book I'm working on, which doesn't leave too much time for other cooking.

Back to the buns-- it's winter wonderland here on Denman Is. today (read "snow"),

and that always makes me want to bake. I don't know many people who bake their own burger buns, but it's really easy and cheap, and they are so superior to storebought. So, this weekend is perfect for baking. You can double or triple the recipes (but , if you double the recipe, do NOT double the yeast; and if you triple the recipe, only double the yeast.

Try one of these-- my four favorite burger (and hotdog) bun recipes:

Printable copy of all four recipes

Makes 8 hot dog buns or 6 hamburger buns (can double recipe)
You can mix and rise the dough on the dough cycle of your bread machine, or knead by hand or with a stand mixer.

1 c. warm potato cooking water OR warm water with 1/2 T. potato starch or 1 T. instant potato flakes
1/2 T. dry active yeast or 1 tsp. instant yeast
1/2 T. lemon juice
2 T. oil
2 T. organic unbleached sugar
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
about 1 1/4 c. unbleached white flour
2 T. wheat bran
2 T. soy flour or chickpea flour
2 T. oat bran
2 T.  ground flax seed
3/4 tsp.  salt
Soymilk (or other nondairy milk) for glazing

OPTIONAL: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or dried onions
cornmeal to sprinkle on the baking sheets

The easy way: Just follow the directions for your machine (use warm soymilk), and set on the Dough cycle. After the dough has finished kneading, let it rise for at least 10 minutes, or take it out whenever convenient before the cycle is done.

If you have no bread machine, you can make these by hand, in a mixer with a dough hook, or in a food processor.

IF YOU ARE MAKING THE DOUGH BY HAND, stir the yeast into the warm liquid in a large mixing bowl.   Let stand 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice, oil, and sugar and mix well.  Add the whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup of the
unbleached white flour, bran, soy or chickpea flour, oat bran and ground flax seed, and salt and beat for 3 minutes with an electric mixer, or 300 strokes with a heavy wooden spoon.  Add the remaining flour (3/4 cup unbleached) and knead the dough for a few minutes right in the bowl.

TO USE A MIXER WITH A DOUGH HOOK, follow the directions for making by hand, but add all the flour at once and knead for 3 minutes.

TO USE A FOOD PROCESSOR, dissolve the yeast in the warm liquid with the sugar in a large measuring cup.  Let stand 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and oil. Mix the flours, salt, bran, soy or chickpea flour, oat bran and ground flax seed in the dry processor bowl.  While the machine is running, add the yeast mixture and process until the dough forms a ball on top of the blade.

With either of the three above methods, let the dough rise, right in the bowl it's made in (or a greased bowl, if using a food processor) for about 10 minutes.

Hamburger Buns: divide into 6 pieces, flatten and stretch each piece into a circle about 4” in diameter and place on a greased cookie sheet that has cornmeal sprinkled on it. You can also divide into 8 pieces, if you prefer a smaller bun. Allow to rise for about 40 minutes, brush with soymilk, and sprinkle with optional seeds, or dried onions, if you like. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Hot Dog Buns: divide into 8 pieces, roll between your hands until you have a 6 inch rope (or long enough for your favorite brand of veggie” wieners” or “sausages”), place on a sheet with cornmeal sprinkled on it. These should be placed fairly close together, so they will rise more up than out. Let the buns rise for 30 minutes or until a nice hotdog bun shape. brush with soymilk, and sprinkle with optional seeds, or dried onions, if you like. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool on a rack—if you like soft buns, cover with a clean tea towel as they cool.


makes 9 large buns OR 12 medium buns

Whole grain, but not heavy, not too sweet, tender but not spongey.
NOTE: you can mix and rise this dough in a bread machine (use the dough cycle), if you prefer, or knead in a large food processor— follow the directions that come with your machine.

1 c. leftover soft mashed potatoes
OR 1/2 c. instant mashed potatoes (you can get an organic brand) mixed with
1 c. boiling water
2 tsp. regular baking yeast (or 1 1/2 tsp. instant) mixed with 1/4 c. warm water
1 c. drained, mashed medium-firm tofu
1/4 c. soymilk
1/4 c. ground flaxseed
1/4 c. wheat bran
2 T. unbleached sugar or Sucanat
2 T. oil
1 T. powdered egg replacer
1 T. nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp. salt
2 and 1/2 c. unbleached flour
2 c. whole wheat flour
soymilk for brushing
sesame or poppy seeds, or onion flakes for garnish

If using the instant mashed potatoes, mix them with the boiling water and set aside to cool a bit.

When the yeast has foamed up a bit in the warm water, mix it in a large bowl or bowl of a heavy-duty mixer with dough hook, with the mashed potatoes, mashed tofu, soymilk, groiund flax, bran, sugar, oil egg replacer, yeast, and salt. Mix well.

Stir in the wholewheat flour, then add the unbleached flour. Knead for 5-10 minutes, using as little flour as possible. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours. Punch down and divide into 9-12 equal balls. With wet hands, press the balls down on greased cookie sheets (can sprinkle with cornmeal, if you wish) to make buns about 3-4” across. Press down hard in the center of each, so that it doesn’t rise with too much of a “hump’ in the center.

Cover and let rise 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (325 with convection). Brush the buns with soymilk for a shiny glaze and, if you wish, sprinkle with seeds or dried onion flakes. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or til golden. Cool on racks.

These can be frozen after cooling— cut them in half horizontally before freezing.


Makes 12

These quick, easy buns are very tasty and a little crusty. They are white, but with the addition of bran and golden flax, they have added fiber and nutrition.

4 cups unbleached white flour
1/4 cup ground golden flaxseed
1/4 cup bran
1/4 cup mashed potato flakes (you can buy organic ones in HFS)
1 Tbs. active dry yeast (or 3/4 Tbs. instant)
2 cups warm soymilk
2 Tbs. oil
2 Tbs. vegan sugar or maple syrup
2 tsp. salt

soymilk for brushing tops
OPTIONAL: sesame seeds

You can make the dough in your bread machine, if you have one.  Just follow the directions for your machine (use warm soymilk), and set on the Dough cycle. After the dough has finished kneading, let it rise for at least 10 minutes, or take it out whenever convenient before the cycle is done.

If you have no bread machine, you can make these by hand, in a mixer with a dough hook, or in a food processor.

stir the yeast into the warm soymilk in a large mixing bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Add the oil, sugar potato flakes and mix well. Add the 2 cups of theflour, bran, flax seed, and salt and beat for 3 minutes with an electric mixer, or 300 strokes with a heavy wooden spoon. Add the remaining flour and knead the dough breifly right in the bowl.

follow the directions for making by hand, but add all the flour at once and knead for 3 minutes.

Dissolve the yeast in the warm soymilk with the sugar in a large measuring cup. Let stand 5 minutes. Mix the flour, salt, bran, potato flakes, and flaxseed in the dry processor bowl. While the machine is running, add the soymilk mixture, and the oil until the dough forms a ball on top of the blade.

With either of the three above methods, let the dough rise, right in the bowl it's made in (or a greased bowl, if using a food processor) for about 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 equal balls and, on a floured surface, roll into smooth balls and then press down into hamburger-bun shapes.

Place on greased cookie sheets, leaving some space in between, brush with soymilk, and sprinkle with raw sesame seeds, if desired. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, while you heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until nicely browned. Cool on racks.


makes 9-12 buns
These are excellent, especially when you're in a hurry. The dough can be used for dinner rolls, too. I've made some version of these for many years, and they have morphed into this vegan version.

1 T. regular (OR 3/4 T. instant) yeast
1 c. warm water
2 c. warm soymilk
1/4 c. instant potato flakes (you can get an organic kind)
2 T. oil
2 T. maple syrup or unbleached sugar
2 tsp. salt
OPTIONAL: 1/4 c. ground flaxseed
1 T. nutritional yeast flakes
4 c. wholewheat flour (NOT pastry flour)

Soymilk for glazing
OPTIONAL: sesame seeds or other desired topping

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add to the soymilk in a medium bowl, along with the potato flakes, oil, syrup or sugar, salt, and optionals.

Add the flour and stir with a heavy wooden spoon, or Danish dough whisk, as long as you can (up to 2 minutes, but I’ve made this with almost no stirring, and they turn out well). Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

With floured hands, dump the dough out on a well-floured counter and, coating the dough lightly with flour as you go, form the dough into 9-12 equal-sized balls. Place on greased cookie sheets sprinkled with flour or cornmeal and pat the balls down to form 3-4” rounds. Press down hard in the center, so that they don’t make big “humps” in the middle when they rise.

Cover and let rise 30 minutes, while you heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Brush the buns with soymilk and sprinkle with sesame seeds or other topping. Bake 15 minutes. Cool on racks.

Happy Baking!