English Muffins

Yields 8 English muffins.

Ingredients

  • 300 grams/300 ml (1¼ cup) lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon organic sugar
  • 1 packet instant yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • 450 grams bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt

Preparation

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, whisk together the warm water, sugar and yeast.

Add the flour and salt and mix until a shaggy dough develops.

Transfer the dough to a roomy, lightly-oiled container, cover loosely and set in a warm place. After 30 minutes, with a dampened hand, fold the edges of the dough into the center while rotating the container (4 folds are sufficient). Cover loosely. Repeat this folding procedure again, 3 more times every 30 minutes (2 hours total), covering loosely each time.

After the series of folds, set the container aside in a warm place undisturbed for 2 hours. At this point you can proceed with rolling and cutting the dough – or, for a more complex sourdough flavor, the dough can be refrigerated up to 48 hours until ready to use (be sure to cover the dough directly in the container with oiled plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface and seal the container before refrigerating).

Dust a work surface with flour. Transfer the dough to the work surface and dust lightly with flour to reduce stickiness. With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out ¾-inch thick. Cut rounds with 3-inch diameter round cutter. Roll out scraps of dough and repeat. Lay the dough rounds on parchment generously dusted with cornmeal and then dust the tops generously with cornmeal. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 45 minutes (1½ hours for chilled dough).

Heat a large, dry non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Using a spatula, transfer a few rounds of dough to the skillet; don’t overcrowd. Cover with the lid to trap steam. Cook 8 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Flip and cook another 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool on a rack.

Working around the perimeter of the muffin, use the tines of a fork to split the muffins in half. Toast until crisp. While hot, spread with vegan butter or margarine, and/or other toppings as desired.

Store leftover muffins airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

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Bagels

Originating in the Jewish communities of Poland, bagels are a yeasted wheat bread traditionally shaped by hand into the form of a ring, boiled for a short time in alkalinized water and then baked until golden. They can be made plain or seasoned. 

Dough Ingredients

  • 240 grams/ml (1 cup) lukewarm water
  • 1 packet rapid rise instant yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons organic sugar
  • 400 grams bread flour*
  • 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt

*To enrich with whole wheat, use 300 grams bread flour and 100 grams whole wheat flour.

Simmering Bath

  • 3 quarts water
  • ¼ cup barley malt syrup, real maple syrup, brown rice syrup or agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Optional Toppings of Choice

  • sesame seeds
  • poppy seeds
  • everything bagels: combination of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced onion, granulated garlic, and coarse sea salt or kosher salt

Preparation

If using, scatter the bagel toppings on a plate; set aside.

Whisk together the warm water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the flour, vegetable oil and salt and process on low speed until elastic, about 6 minutes. The dough may wrap around the hook while processing; simply stop the motor, push the dough off the hook with a narrow spatula and continue processing. Mixing and kneading can also be done by hand. Shape the sticky dough into a ball and place into a roomy, lightly oiled container, loosely cover and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 6 roughly equal pieces (for uniformity in size, weigh the dough and then divide by 6). Roll each piece into a ball. To form the bagels, slightly flatten the balls of dough with the palm of your hand. Pick up a portion and poke a hole into the center with a fingertip, then using your forefingers and middle fingers, gently stretch from the interior into a 3-inch interior diameter while rotating the ring of dough in your hand. Set aside on a lightly floured work surface. Repeat with the remaining portions. Shaping takes practice, so be patient with yourself.

Let the bagels rise again for 30 minutes while preparing the water bath.

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in large cooking pot and add the chosen sweetener and the baking soda. Preheat the oven to 450˚F/230˚C.

Reduce the boil to a vigorous simmer, add 3 bagels and simmer for 1 minute. Flip the bagels over with a slotted spoon and simmer another minute. Remove with the slotted spoon to a baker’s rack to drain briefly. Repeat the simmering with the remaining 3 bagels. When cool enough to handle, lightly press the top and sides of the bagels into the topping of choice and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Avoid rough handling to prevent deflation.

Bake on the middle oven rack for 17 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to the wire rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature in a sealed bag or container. To serve, slice horizontally through the center. Toast until lightly browned. Top with a “schmear” of vegan butter or cream cheese as desired.

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Crumbly Mexican Soy Chorizo


Crumbly Mexican Soy Chorizo with Vegan Eggz Scramble

Seasoning Blend

  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder (mild)
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (spicy hot), or more to taste

Base Ingredients

  • 5 oz pressed extra-firm tofu, finely crumbled
  • ½ cup Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)

Liquid Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Preparation

Combine the seasoning blend ingredients in a bowl with the dry TVP granules. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mash and finely crumble the tofu with a fork. Set aside.

Whisk together the liquid ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a brief boil. Add the seasoned TVP granules, cover and set aside to rehydrate for 10 minutes.

Fold in the crumbled tofu until blended through evenly. Refrigerate in an airtight container to allow the tofu to absorb color and seasonings and to blend the flavors. Store up to 1 week in the refrigerator or in the freezer for longer storage. Crumble and brown the mixture in a well-oiled skillet and use in recipes as desired.

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Sicilian Panelle

DSC01470-001Panelle, also known as Panella di Ceci, are Sicilian fritters made from chickpea flour and seasonings and are similar to fried polenta. They are a popular street food in Palermo and are often eaten between slices of bread or on a roll, like a sandwich. Panelle are believed to be of Arabic origin. The panelle can be cut into various shapes and sizes before frying.

Ingredients for the Panelle

• 1 cup chickpea flour
• 2 T dried parsley flakes
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp dried basil
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• 2 cups water
• 2 T olive oil
• 1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
• high-temp cooking oil for frying

Ingredients for the Relish (optional)

Mix together in a bowl:
• 3 campari tomatoes, seeded and diced
• 3 T finely diced onion
• 3 T finely chopped flat leaf parsley
• 2 tsp olive oil
• 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
• sea salt or kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preparation
Oil and 8”x8” baking dish or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine the chickpea flour, parsley, onion powder, basil and garlic powder in a bowl.

In a medium saucepan, bring the water, oil and salt to a boil. Reduce the heat to a vigorous simmer and sprinkle in a small portion of the flour mixture while whisking vigorously to avoid lumps. Continue to incorporate the flour mixture in increments. Cook the mixture until it begins to pull away a bit from the sides of the saucepan. It will be very thick.

Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and spread evenly. Let cool a bit and then cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or until completely chilled and firm set.

Cut the panelle into any desired shape and fry until golden brown in hot cooking oil. They take a little time to brown, so be patient. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to blot excess oil. Serve warm.

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Sweet and Smoky Tofu Bacun

DSC00988-003Tofu bacun is so easy to prepare and yields excellent results. It just requires a little time for pressing the tofu (8 to 12 hours), marinating the tofu with the seasoning liquid (a minimum of 12 hours), and low-oven baking or drying in a food dehydrator (about 2 hours). For this recipe I recommend using a tofu press, such as the TofuXpress®, that will hold the shape of the tofu while compressing the texture and removing the water prior to marinating. This recipe yields about 8 oz./½ lb. of bacun.

Ingredients
• 1 block (about 14 oz before pressing) extra-firm tofu
• high-temp cooking oil for frying

Marinade Ingredients
• ⅔ cup water
• ⅓ cup tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
• ¼ cup dark brown sugar or real maple syrup
• 1 T vegan Worcestershire Sauce
• 1 T liquid hickory smoke

Preparation
Press the tofu to remove as much water as possible. Blot the surface dry and then cut ⅛-inch thick slices lengthwise.

Combine the marinade ingredients and stir until the sugar dissolves. If you prefer a less salty bacun, opt for low-sodium tamari or soy sauce. Pour a small amount of the marinade into a small food storage container and begin layering the tofu strips into the container, overlapping the slices as you layer. Handle the slices carefully as they will be rather delicate.

DSC00974-001

Pour the remaining marinade over the slices and seal the container. There should be sufficient marinade to just about cover the slices completely. Seal the container and refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours and up to 48 hours, with 24 hours being ideal.

Preheat the oven to 225°F/110°C. Place a non-stick baker’s cooling rack on a baking sheet. If you don’t have a cooling rack, line the baking sheet with parchment paper.

DSC00976

Place the slices in a single layer on the rack. Again, handle the slices carefully as they will be rather delicate. Place the sheet on the middle oven rack and low-bake for 2 hours.

Alternately, a food dehydrator can be used at the highest setting. Dry for 2 hours or until the slices are dry to the touch but not completely dehydrated.

Place the slices in a food storage container and refrigerate until ready to finish and serve.

Finishing the Bacun
Tofu bacun benefits from frying in oil to create the crispy texture. Pour enough high-temp cooking into a skillet to cover the bottom completely and place over medium-high heat. Add the strips to the skillet without overcrowding and fry until nicely browned, turning occasionally. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Try laying the bacun on the towel with an undulation to mimic a cooked bacon appearance. If desired, season with some coarse ground black pepper while still hot. The bacun will crisp further as it cools and will hold the undulated shape.

Serve immediately or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to use in recipes. Pre-fried bacun can be reheated in a low oven.

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“Hard-Cooked” Eggless Eggs

28Important! This recipe should only be used if you wish to prepare solid “hard-cooked” eggless eggs. If you wish to prepare vegan deviled “eggs” or eggless “egg” salad, please see the appropriate recipe in this blog or in my Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook, as these recipes are much less involved and easier to prepare.

This is my own recipe and technique for producing “hard-cooked” eggless eggs that are remarkably similar to their egg counterparts in appearance, flavor and texture. For this recipe, you will need 2 six-count egg molds which will yield one dozen “hard-cooked” eggless eggs. If you only have one mold set, any remaining “yolk” and “egg white” mixture” can be used for crumbled “hard-cooked” eggless egg (superb for topping cold salads) or for eggless egg salad sandwiches.

Please note: The “eggs” cannot be used for heated applications, such as “Scotch eggs”, because the agar will melt and the eggs will turn to mush. They must remain chilled or at room temperature for serving.

About the egg molds: The internet source I was recommending for the egg molds is no longer offering that product, so you will have to do some internet searching for the molds. Many of my readers have found luck locating them on Ebay.com (search for “Jell-O jiggler egg molds”).

eggmolds

Food Processor Ingredients for the “Egg Yolks”
• 5 oz pressed extra-firm block tofu (about one-half of a standard block; do not use silken tofu)
• 2 T refined coconut oil, melted
• 2 T nutritional yeast flakes
• ¼ tsp sodium alginate, guar gum or xanthan gum

Saucepan Ingredients for the “Egg Yolks”
• ½ cup water
• 1 and ½ tsp agar powder
• ½ tsp sweet paprika
• ½ tsp ground turmeric
• ¼ tsp kala namak (Himalayan black salt)

Blender Ingredients for the “Egg Whites”
• 5 oz pressed extra-firm block tofu (about one-half of a standard block; do not use silken tofu)
• 3 cups water
• ½ cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk
• 4 tsp agar powder
• 1 and ¼ tsp kala namak (Himalayan black salt)

Additional Items Needed
• 2 six-count egg molds
• food processor
• blender
• small saucepan
• a melon baller or ½ T measuring spoon
• small food storage container that will hold about 2 cups
• 2 cup measuring cup with pouring lip
• wax paper or parchment paper

Preparing the “Yolks”
Set the “egg molds” aside. Be sure they are completely snapped together.
Place the food processor ingredients for the “yolks” into a food processor; process into a coarse paste.

Combine the saucepan ingredients for the “yolks” in the saucepan and heat until bubbly over medium heat. Swirl the contents occasionally as the mixture heats.
With the food processor running, pour the molten saucepan mixture into the food chute. Process the entire contents until smooth. Stop as needed to scrape down the sides with a flexible spatula.

Transfer the “yolk” mixture to the food storage container and chill uncovered for a minimum of 1 hour to firm.

Line a plate with wax or parchment paper. Using a melon baller, rounded measuring spoon or similar object, scoop some of the “yolk” mixture into a rough ball shape, about the size of a hardened egg yolk. Roll the mixture between your palms to round the ball and smooth the surface a bit. It doesn’t have to be totally smooth. Set it on the lined plate. Repeat the procedure until you have 12 “yolks”. Make sure the “yolks” are not touching each other on the plate or they will stick together when frozen. This procedure is a bit messy and some of the mixture will stick to your hands, so keep a moist towel nearby. Place the uncovered plate into the freezer for about 1 hour. Avoid freezing for more than 2 hours or ice crystals will form on the “yolks”.

Preparing the “Egg Whites”
When ready to proceed, add the blender ingredients for the “egg whites” to a blender and process until completely liquefied. Add half of the mixture to the saucepan and heat to a soft boil, stirring frequently to avoid scorching. Transfer the hot mixture to the measuring cup with the lip. The mixture may begin to curdle a bit in the measuring cup – this is normal and will not affect the finished flavor or texture. Pour the mixture into the molds, filling them no more than halfway. Let cool at room temperature for 10 minutes to help set the “white” mixture just a bit (this will help keep the yolk suspended, rather than sinking).

Carefully open the molds and place the frozen “yolks” in the center of each “white”. Close the molds and securely snap shut. Make sure they are completely snapped shut or the molten “white” mixture will leak out when topping off.

Pour the remaining “egg white” mixture into the saucepan and bring to a soft boil, stirring frequently. Transfer the mixture to the measuring cup and then fill each egg mold with the mixture to the top of the stems. The mixture may begin to curdle a bit in the measuring cup – this is normal and will not affect the finished flavor or texture. Let settle momentarily and then top off each mold with the mixture (the excess “whites” in the stems can be trimmed away later).

Transfer the molds to the refrigerator and chill for a few hours until completely set. Be careful handling the molds when transferring to the refrigerator so they do not pop open accidentally (for assurance, place the molds on a tray and then transfer to the refrigerator).

Finishing the “Hard-Boiled Eggs”
Open the molds and pop out the “eggs”. There will be a seam on the “eggs” where the molds joined together. Use a dry paper towel to gently rub the “egg” and remove the seam. Trim off the stem ends as needed with a paring knife. Chill the “eggs” in an airtight container until ready to use. The “eggs” should be consumed within 1 week. I’ve never frozen them for storage, so I cannot advise if this can be done successfully without damaging the texture.

DSC00323

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