October 29, 2009

Breads and speculoos / veganmofo 2009

I want to say upfront that I haven't been sent a review copy of the cookbook I'm about to mention (darn - I'd love to review it). It's just that the authors have developed a bread baking style that fits perfectly with the theme of this blog. Following their method couldn't be easier, and I've been playing with their recipes since their first cookbook, "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" was published. I used their technique, but made the recipes healthier by using whole grains, less salt, etc. Now they've come up with a new book called, "Healthy Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day," and of course I watched their video, and made bread. I haven't actually seen the new book yet, but I know it has recipes using whole grains, fruits and veggies, plus a chapter on gluten-free baking. It's not a vegan cookbook, but probably easy for a vegan cook to adapt the recipes.

The bread pictured above was made from the basic recipe. I didn't have any unbleached flour on hand so I subbed semolina flour. For the topping I used a mix of sesame seeds, caraway seeds, dill seeds and crushed red pepper. The bread was delicious with the kind of springy texture I love, and it looked very pretty.

The dough - a rather wet dough - is mixed and stored in a container in the refrigerator, and taken out in blobs whenever a bread is needed.

Tonight I wanted to make a bread with the speculoos spice mix I got from Mihl's blog. (Are you reading this, Mihl?) I grabbed a blob of dough and rolled it into a rectangle. I mixed one tablespoon of speculoos spice mix, one tablespoon of cocoa, three tablespoons of evaporated cane juice and about 1/2 cup of raisins, and spread it onto the dough. The dough was then rolled up and the edges sealed. You can see from the photo I didn't do a very even job - perhaps I was rushing - but the taste is delicious.

The authors will be in Seattle Monday night to do a reading and book signing and I hope to be there. I doubt they'll be talking about speculoos!


  1. Yes, I am reading this indeed! All those seeds on top of your bread look so pretty! And mixing speculoos into bread is a fantastic idea. Welcome to the club ;)

  2. Wow, what a beautiful loaf of bread! It totally looks like it's from a bakery. :-)

  3. That is one pretty loaf of bread.
    Debra @ Vegan Family Style

  4. Mihl,
    Thanks. I really wanted more of a spiral effect but the dough was a little too sticky and hard to roll up! Next time I'll add more flour.

    Thanks! I don't know why I never thought of adding mixed seeds before. It really makes the bread look nice and tastes good, too.

    Thanks. I have to stock up on seeds.

  5. That bread looks amazing! I love all the seeds. :)

  6. Your loaf is fantastic! The speculoos spice mix sounds incredible as well!

    If your dough is too sticky to roll, just sprinke it with more flour as you work and the counter so that it won't stick to that either. You can add flour, just don't knead it into the dough.

    Happy baking and enjoy! Zoë François

  7. Jessie,
    Thanks. I loved the seeds, too, and the bite of the crushed red pepper.

    Thanks! I usually do add some flour when shaping the loaf but I was trying to add as little as possible, and didn't add enough. I was using parchment paper and didn't expect the dough to stick as much as it did.


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