Happy Valentine’s Day

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, I decided to bake heart shaped buns.

Love Buns

25 g yeast
1 tsp salt
5 dl water
1 tbsp syrup
0,5 dl (ground) flax seed
1 dl sesame seeds
1,5 dl sunflower seeds
1 dl wheat bran
3 dl whole wheat flour
7 dl wheat flour
2-3 tbsp oil
poppy seeds, sesame seeds and/or sunflower seeds for garnishing (optional)

Crumble the yeast with salt in a bowl and leave for about 10 minutes.  Add water, syrup and all seeds and mix together. Add bran, whole wheat flour and most of the wheat flour. Knead with rest of the flour until you have a nice ball of dough, add the oil when the dough is almost ready. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled.

Punch down and roll into a 1-1,5 cm thick rectangle. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to make buns. Transfer the buns on a baking sheet, cover with towel and allow to rise 10-15 minutes. Brush with cold water and sprinkle seeds on the buns. Bake 15 minutes in 225 Celsius degrees or until browned.


Yellow And Orange Bread

It’s winter already and we don’t have much daylight or sun shine here. That’s why I tried to add some sun in the bread I made today.

I did measure the wheat flour, but I got confused somewhere after 6 or 7 dl, so I’m not sure how much I actually used. Use more or less if needed. I didn’t look at the time I baked the breads, but I think it might have been 15-20 minutes.

Sunny Bread
(3 breads)

4,5 dl water
25 g yeast
0,5 tsp salt
2 tsp molasses (dark syrup)
0,5 tsp turmeric (use 1 tsp if you want your bread more yellow)
3 carrots
1 dl sunflower seeds
3 dl rolled oats
1 dl rye flour
about 9 dl wheat flour
2 tbsp oil

Dissolve yeast, salt, molasses and turmeric in lukewarm water. Grate the carrots coarsely and add them with sunflower seeds, oats and rye flour to the water and stir until mixed. Knead a dough with wheat flour. Add the oil in the end of kneading. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled.

Punch down. Make three relatively flat round breads, 15-20 cm diameter. Put them on a baking sheet (two on one baking sheet), cover with a towel and allow to rise 10-15 minutes. Take a narrow drinking glass or small round cookie cutter and make a hole in the middle of each bread. Bake in 225 Celsius degrees until they look ready.

The Last Basils From The Balcony

We didn’t grow any herbs in the community garden, but we did grow them at home. Finnish summer is usually too chilly for basil, so we grow it indoors. I planted quite a few seeds in the spring and few weeks later we had so many small basils that they didn’t fit on our windowsills. I decided to plant the rest on hanging flower pots in a shady corner of the balcony and see if they grow there. All the good sunny parts were already taken by dill, parsley, mint, lettuce, rocket, catnip and other plants.

Here’s some herbs on May 31st. Basil in the small pots in front and Parsley and marjoram in the big pot.

This summer was much hotter than normal and the basils didn’t even mind the lack of sunlight. Here they are on August 10th.

Now it’s autumn and nights are getting cold. Indoors basils are still growing well, but it was time to harvest the ones from the balcony. I baked some bread whirls, but I used too much garlic. I didn’t know such thing as “too much garlic” even existed, but here the taste of the garlic was so strong that you barely tasted the basil. I reduced the amount in the recipe, and next time I’ll use only 2 cloves myself too.

Garlic And Basil Whirls

2,5 dl lukewarm water
25g yeast
0,5 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 dl rye flour
1 dl graham flour
5 dl wheat flour
2 tbsp oil

4 tbsp margarine
2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
2 dl chopped fresh basil
pinch of salt and pepper
3-4 tbsp sunflower seeds

Combine water, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir until dissolved. Add rye and graham flour and most of the wheat flour and start kneading. Add the oil and more wheat flour and knead more. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled. Punch down and make a 30cm x 40 cm rectangle.

Mix margarine, garlic and basil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Spread on the dough rectangle and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Roll the dough from the wider side and cut in 2 cm slices. Put the slices in muffin cups or on a baking sheet and bake in 225 Celsius degrees about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

I recommend using the muffin cups, because if you bake the whirls on baking sheet, they will be loose like this.

I Won!

I participated in a competition at Chocochili nearly a month ago. Everyone had to tell what is the hardest thing in vegan cooking or baking, then the blog hostess Elina chose the answers she thought were best and picked a random winner among them. And I was the lucky winner! I won a silicone loaf pan and 12 silicone muffin cups and they arrived last Thursday. I didn’t have time to bake on weekend, but today I made a bread in my new loaf pan.

Barley Bread

3 dl water
25 g yeast
1 tsp sugar
0,5 tsp salt
1,5 dl sunflower seeds
1 dl rolled oats
2 dl barley flour
1 dl graham flour
1 dl wheat flour

2 dl barley flour
1 dl graham flour
1 dl wheat flour
0,25 dl oil

Mix water, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir until dissolved. Add sunflower seeds, oats, 2 dl barley flour, 1 dl graham flour and 1 dl wheat flour and stir well. Cover with a towel and proof 15-30 minutes. When the dough is foamy add the rest of the flours and knead. Add the oil in the end of kneading. Cover again and let rise until doubled. Punch down and form a loaf with your hands. Put in a loaf pan and let rise 15-30 minutes more. Bake about 35 minutes in 200 Celsius degrees.

Starring: The Chickpea Loaf

In Finland we have a cooking magazine called Maku. I haven’t found many interesting recipes from issues I’ve read, most of them are for omnivores and vegetarian recipes are usually so basic recipes that I could whip them up any time (could be good recipes for beginners, though). This loaf from issue 6/08 is exception. It’s easy to make and it’s best loaf I’ve ever eaten. This time I baked it in star shaped dish, but usually I use an elongated dish.

Chickpea Loaf

600g cooked or canned chickpeas (3 dl dry)
150g chopped onions
1 tbsp canola oil for frying
2dl rolled oats
2 dl oat cream
1 dl canola oil
4 tbsp potato flour
2 tbsp curry paste (less if it’s strong)
2,5 tsp salt
2 tsp ground aniseed or ground fennel seeds
2 tsp basil
0,5 tsp ground black pepper
150 g grated parsnip
2 dl sunflower seeds

to the dish:
1 dl sesame seeds (bread crumbs can be used too)

Fry the chopped onions in oil.

Put everything except parsnip and sunflower seeds to a big bowl and puré them with a hand held blender. Add grated parsnip and sunflower seeds and blend a little longer. Some of the seeds should be crushed and some should stay unbroken.

If you’re not using a non-stick dish, cover at least the bottom with piece of parchment paper. Grease the dish (and paper) with margarine and coat with sesame seeds. Pour the chick pea mash to the dish and even out. Bake in 175 Celsius degrees for about an hour. Let the loaf cool down a bit and flip over. Can be served hot or cold.