Thursday, May 23, 2013
"WHOLE GRAIN VEGAN BAKING" BLOG TOUR-- REVIEW, BOOK GIVEAWAY, & A RECIPE, OF COURSE!
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE (CHECK OUT THE OTHER BLOG POSTS ON THE TOUR FOR MORE SAMPLE RECIPES, REVIEWS AND PHOTOS)
WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK! Comment on this post and 2 contestants will be chosen randomly to receive a copy (US and Canada only, I'm afraid). CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! THE WINNERS ARE CLAUDIA AND VEGINTRAINING-- I'LL BE IN TOUCH!
If you are laboring under the impression that whole grain baked goods are dark, heavy, and too "healthy" to actually taste good, and that VEGAN whole grain baked goods must be even moreso, "Whole Grain Vegan Baking" will change your mind in a hurry! The authors are both experienced and innovative vegan bakers, so you will be in capable hands! (Celine Steen is the co-author of “Vegan Sandwiches Save theDay!”, “500 Vegan Recipes”, “The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions”, and “Hearty Vegan Meals”. She is the founder of the award-winning blog Have Cake, Will Travel.
Tamasin Noyes is the co-author of “Vegan Sandwiches Save theDay!” and author of “American Vegan Kitchen” and “Grills Gone Vegan”. She is the founder of the blog Vegan Appetite .)
I was honored to be invited to participate in this "Blog Tour" for Celine and Tamasin's new book, but it was difficult to select a recipe for this post from such an array of goodies! The breakfast chapter alone beckoned with delectable recipes, from Lemony Spelt Scones to Chocolate Sesame Granola and Chocolate Stout Spelt Doughnuts, to Breakfast Pie Pastries, to yeasted Lemon Ginger Rolls (can you tell that I love chocolate and lemon?). But there were still chapters of quick loaves and muffins; artisan yeast breads, rolls, bagels, pretzels and pizza; a jam-packed (not to make a pun) snack chapter of crackers, quiches & tarts, flatbreads, bars and cookies; and the one many of us may open first, "Perfectly Wholesome Desserts". Lots of photos, too-- groan!
You know that I am not a "purist" when it comes to baking-- I have nothing against some unbleached white flour once in a while! I use a great deal of whole grains and whole grain flours because they are nutritious and full of flavor. But this book is so full of variety that I'm sure it will move you (and me) well beyond whole wheat flour and oats.
I almost had to do the eeny-meeny-miney-mo thing to choose my recipe for the Blog Tour, but, in the end, I chose the following cornbread recipe for this post. It's jazzed-up with jalapeño peppers and one of my favorite baking additions, dried cranberries. I sincerely love cornbread and this one not only sounded interesting, but it contains only 1 tablespoon of oil! I also liked the combination of whole wheat pastry flour, cornmeal and corn flour, which is finely-ground cornmeal. (Chapter One is full of baking tips and information about the various flours and other ingredients.) Using the two varieties of corn products gave the bread a smoother texture than most cornbread, but still with a bit of graininess.
We enjoyed this cornbread with some of my vegan Habitant Pea Soup for a hearty supper. It was moist and very flavorful (and yummy heated up for breakfast the next day with a drizzle of maple syrup!). Now I have lots of experimenting to do with more than 100 recipes in this book-- poor me!
Bravo to Celine and Tami for producing such a lovely, inspiring and user-friendly cookbook!
SPICY CRANBERRY CORNBREAD (WITH MY NOTES: BCG)
From "Whole Grain Vegan Baking" by Celine Steen & Tamasin Noyes
Yield: 6 servings
A wee bit sweet, a wee bit spicy, and all very savory, this cornbread has the perfect crust thanks to the hot cast-iron skillet. Cornmeal is packed with nutrients, minerals, and amino acids. Plus, it tastes great! Start with this recipe, then tweak it to your taste. Double the scallions, jalapeños, or cranberries to make it your own.
11⁄2 cups (355 ml) unsweetened plain vegan milk, more if needed (I used soy milk: BCG)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) apple cider vinegar
60 g (1⁄4 cup) unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml) pure maple syrup
18 g (3 tablespoons) minced scallion (I didn't have any, so I used minced leeks, green & white parts: BCG)
18 g (2 tablespoons) minced jalapeño peppers (I used rinsed pickled jalapeños: BCG)
15 g (2 tablespoons) dried sweetened cranberries, chopped
1 tablespoon (15 ml) neutral-flavored oil
120 g (1 cup) whole wheat pastry flour
60 g (1⁄2 cup) corn flour (see page 10) (grind some yellow cornmeal to flour in a clean, dry coffee/spice grinder if you don't have any: BCG
88 g (1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) coarsely ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 g (1 tablespoon) baking powder
Nonstick cooking spray (or oil from a pump-spray bottle: BCG)
Put an 8-inch(20 cm) cast-iron skillet in the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6).
Combine the milk and vinegar in a medium-size bowl: The mixture will curdle and become like buttermilk. Stir in the applesauce, syrup, scallion, jalapeño, cranberries, and oil.
Combine the flours, cornmeal, salt, pepper, and baking powder in a second medium-size bowl. Whisk to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined, but do not over-mix. If the mixture is too dry, add additional milk 1 tablespoon (15 ml) at a time as needed. (I didn't need to add any extra: BCG) The mixture should be pourable.
Carefully take the skillet out of the oven and coat it with cooking spray.
Pour the cornbread batter into the skillet and put it back in the oven.
Bake for 33 to 38 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving.