I don’t do Lent, but I try to support Husband when he does something for it. This year he decided to go vegetarian for Lent. That changed to vegan for life a few weeks ago, and since then I’ve been busy showing him that being vegan doesn’t have to mean giving up all his favorite things.
One seasonal treat that’s become a big hit in our home is ‘hot cross-less loaf’ – because I’m feeling really tired lately, and I don’t want to use up energy making buns and crosses when I need that energy to go to work and do the laundry! I’m sure more energetic readers could easily use this dough recipe to make buns with, though.
On a similar note, I shamelessly cheat and use a breadmaker. If you prefer to make bread by hand, a) I’m impressed, b) I don’t ever want to arm-wrestle with you, and c) I assume this would work for hand-made bread too, but I’ve never actually tried.
- 200ml plant milk (I’ve been using oat, but any would probably work just as well).
- Juice and zest of 1 clementine/tangerine.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil/plant spread.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (you do need sugar and salt in bread – without sugar the loaf won’t rise, and without salt it won’t stop rising!)
- Mixed spice to taste.
- 100g strong white flour (also called bread flour. Regular or self-raising won’t work).
- 325g strong wholewheat flour.
- 3 tablespoons plant syrup/sugar (I’ve been using agave nectar).
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fast-action dried yeast.
- 200g mixed fruit (the kind you use for mince pies, with sultanas and candied peel).
Put the plant milk, juice, zest, oil/spread and salt into the bread pan. Add the flours and spices on top, but don’t mix. Make a little dip in the flour, and put the syrup/sugar and yeast into the dip. Set your breadmaker to a wholewheat setting for a 700g, light crust loaf (or whichever settings on your breadmaker are closest to this. Don’t use the sweet setting though – it won’t cook it all the way through). When you hear the beeps for the second kneading, add the mixed fruit a bit at a time. Don’t dump it all in at once! Now all you have to do is try and be patient as your home fills with the most tasty smell ever.
This makes a nice offering – our house spirits like it, especially whilst it’s still hot, and if you put plenty of spice into it then you could give some to Loki too – or maybe a gift for a Christian friend/relative. I made one as an Easter gift for Grandparents, who don’t like chocolate, and I let it cool and drew an icing sugar cross over the top. If you’re eating it yourself though, you have to try some fresh from the breadmaker! (Well, let it cool enough to eat first.)
It’s a good way to have a bit more control over how many chemicals go into your food, and it’s also a good way to save money. You can toast it or eat it the way it is – I sometimes take half a slice to work as a snack. Traditionally you should only eat this on Sundays during Lent, but…Hey, I don’t even do Lent. Don’t look at me.
Let me know if you try this, or if you find ways to improve or change it 🙂
Update; I use all wholewheat flour to bake this with now, and it works just fine. I don’t think anyone’s even noticed!