Happy New Year. I always feel that January is a month to ‘hunker down’ and tidy up the house and prepare for sunnier days. It’s also good to stay inside and bake and, of course, it’s Veganuary , so I thought I’d tell you about a cookbook that was launched recently: BReD. Sourdough bread is naturally vegan – flour, water, and salt transformed into extraordinary, delicious bread.
Author Ed Tatton
Ed Tatton, vegan chef, artisan bread-maker, and co-owner of Canadian vegan cafe and bakery BReD, has been refining recipes and techniques for naturally leavened sourdough for years.These include a wide array of boules, baguettes, loaves, flatbreads, buns, and pizza.
He uses plant-based alternatives in some savoury and sweet sourdoughs that would traditionally include dairy (butter, milk, or buttermilk) including panettone buns, hot cross buns, sticky buns, cinnamon buns, English muffins, brioche, and babka.
BReD is a plant-based book for serious vegan bakers that goes beyond just making bread. You can take baking to the next level with gorgeous vegan baked goods – from cakes, muffins, and scones to biscuits, cookies, and tarts.
The book also includes gluten-free recipes (bread and other baked goods), discard starter recipes to further zero-waste efforts, and an offering of dips, spreads, and accompaniments to complement the breads.
It’s published by Penguin Random House at £34 rrp. Here are a couple of recipes from the book:
Espresso Coffee Cake (Makes one 9-inch (23cm) round 2-layer cake, serves 10 to 12)
“In the UK, coffee cake is literally a cake with coffee in it. When I was thinking of my favourite cakes to include in this cookbook, I found out that in North America coffee cake is a cake that you can eat with a cup of coffee— rather like how English tea cake does not actually contain tea but does pair well with tea. Coffee was first cultivated in or around Ethiopia and gained popularity on the Arabian Peninsula in the sixteenth century, spreading into Europe a century or two later. The Dutch and Germans are credited with bringing the concept of drinking coffee with various cakes (such as streusel-topped cakes and Bundt cakes) to North America, a time-honoured favourite ever since. Some coffee cake recipes from the late 1800s onwards contain coffee, but not many are vegan like this one!”
125g (½ cup) cold vegan butter
250g (1½ cups + 3 tablespoons) vegan icing sugar
250g (1 cup) vegan cream cheese
30mL (2 tablespoons) dark rum or coffee liqueur
30mL (2 tablespoons) brewed espresso, cooled
5.5g (1¼ teaspoons) pure vanilla extract
30g (3 tablespoons + ¾ teaspoon) ground flaxseed
360g (1½ cups) unsweetened soy milk
250g (1 cup + 3 tablespoons) organic canola oil
250g (1 cup) coconut sugar
2 shots brewed espresso (or 60mL/¼ cup strong coffee), cooled
28g (2 tablespoons) pure vanilla extract
5.5g (1½ teaspoons) apple cider vinegar
300g (22/3 cups) all-purpose flour
75g (2/3 cup) stone-ground whole-grain spelt flour
10g (2 teaspoons) ground cinnamon
10g (2 teaspoons) ground espresso beans
10g (2¼ teaspoons) baking powder
10g (2 teaspoons) baking soda
4g (¾ teaspoon) fine sea salt
For decorating (optional)
Shaved dairy-free dark chocolate Toasted whole or sliced natural almonds
Make the coffee frosting
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter on medium-high speed until soft, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the icing sugar and beat on medium-high speed until smooth.
Add the cream cheese and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rum, brewed espresso, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Scrape the frosting into an airtight container and place in the fridge to set up for a couple of hours. Clean the bowl so there is no residue of coffee frosting.
Make the sponge and bake
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly coat two 9-inch (23cm) springform pans with canola oil spray, then line the bottoms with parchment paper.
To make your flax egg, whisk together the flaxseed and soy milk in the bowl of a stand mixer until a smooth paste forms. If there are any lumps, push a small rubber spatula against the side of the bowl to break them up. Let sit for 10 minutes to bloom and thicken.
Whisk in the canola oil, coconut sugar, flax egg, brewed espresso, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar.
In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, spelt flour, cinnamon, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Using the paddle, beat on medium speed until a smooth batter forms, 1 to 2 minutes. Stop the mixer halfway through and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure there are no lumps or dry patches.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, about 700g per pan. Bake until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cakes comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let the cakes cool in their pans on a cooling rack for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the ring from the pan and let the cake layers cool completely before frosting, about 60 minutes.
Assemble the cake
Remove the coffee frosting from the fridge. Transfer 1 cake layer to a serving plate. Using a piping bag fitted with a plain tip or an offset spatula, pipe or spread a third of the chilled coffee frosting over the cake layer. Place the other cake layer on top and lightly press it down. Pipe or spread a third of the frosting around the sides and then the remaining frosting over the top.
Pipe some decorative droplets. Decorate by sifting cocoa powder or sprinkling shaved chocolate or toasted nuts over the top, if using. Place the finished cake back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to let the frosting set. Store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Ginger and Molasses Cookies
Makes 14 cookies
“Warming, sweet, crunchy, chewy, and moreish, these cookies are a favourite of ours when the weather starts to turn in the autumn. I think it’s the delicious complex flavour that comes from the molasses—a syrup derived from brown sugar that is used in making rum.
As soon as I tasted Seed to Culture’s locally grown organic ginger, I wanted to use it in my bakes. I thought a ginger cookie was the best way to celebrate this amazing plant. You can absolutely use store-bought ground ginger, but you really must try making your own. It’s a revelation! The flavour is floral and familiar but has so many levels. See the Note for how to dehydrate fresh ginger and blend into a powder.”
To make your own ground ginger, set a dehydra- tor to 140°F (60°C). If your fresh ginger has a thin skin, there is no need to peel it, but if the skin is thick, then peel it first.
Finely chop the ginger, or grate on the large holes of a box grater. Spread the grated ginger on a dehydrator tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Dehydrate for 24 hours, until the ginger is completely dry. Alternatively, place the grated ginger on a baking sheet and dehydrate in the oven on the lowest setting possible for 1 to 2 hours, until completely dry. Blend the dehydrated ginger on high speed in a spice grinder or liquidizer to a fine powder.
Store the ground ginger in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months to keep it fresh. Use in any recipes where ground ginger is called for.
340g (1½ cups + 1 tablespoon) cold vegan butter
250g (1¼ cups loosely packed) brown sugar
150g (½ cup) blackstrap molasses
125g (½ cup) pure maple syrup
20g (1½ tablespoons) pure vanilla extract
585g (4¼ cups) all-purpose flour
20g (1 tablespoon) baking soda
25g (5 tablespoons) ground ginger
(or 100g/3.5 oz/1 cup dehydrated ginger, ground)
15g (2 tablespoons) ground cinnamon
7g (3 teaspoons) ground nutmeg
5g (1 teaspoon) fine sea salt
100g (½ cup) raw cane sugar, for rolling
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the molasses, maple syrup, and vanilla and beat on medium-low speed until fully combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed to ensure thorough mixing.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk to combine.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed to combine. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low speed until fully incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed to fully mix all the ingredients. Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. This will firm up the dough and make weighing and shaping easier and less messy.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Have a small bowl of water ready. Divide the dough evenly into 14 balls (about 110g/3.9 oz each). Roll each ball in your palms to achieve a smooth finish, using a little water on your hands to prevent sticking. Slightly flatten the balls into discs about 1 inch (2.5cm) thick.
Arrange the cookies on the lined baking sheets and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour but ideally overnight. (Unbaked cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days before baking or in the freezer for up to 1 month. If frozen, defrost the cookies in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours or overnight before baking.)
When ready to bake, arrange the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 340°F (170°C).
Place the cane sugar in a medium bowl and roll the cookies in the sugar. Return the coated cookies to the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches (5cm) between them to allow for spreading. Bake the cookies until they are cracking and dark brown on top, 14 to 16 minutes. If you are not using a convection oven, you may need to rotate the cookies halfway through. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheets.
These cookies are best enjoyed on the day of baking, but can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 3 days.
Excerpted from BReD by Edward Tatton and Natasha Tatton. Copyright © 2023 Edward Tatton and Natasha Tatton. Photography by Janis Nicolay. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.