Tips for Vegan Baking
Many people are discovering a vegan diet and whether you have chosen to eliminate all animal products from your diet due to health, ethical, or a combination of reasons, you shouldn't have to feel like you need to give up all of the delectable foods you love. Baking without eggs, milk, or butter may seem like an insurmountable challenge, but the truth is that you can create truly indulgent sweet and savory cruelty-free baked goods by just making a few change in how you approach your recipes.
Get started on your vegan baking adventures by using these tips:
• Choose the right flour for your recipe. If you are baking something heartier, such as bread or pizza dough, pick a high-protein flour such as all-purpose or bread flour. For lighter, fluffier baked goods such as cakes and cookies, use a low-gluten flour such as cake flour.
• When replacing dairy in your recipes, choose an alternative with similar viscosity and fat content to the dairy version. For example, almond milk is a good alternative for regular milk while coconut milk is ideal for replacing heavy cream.
• Avoid using vegetable or olive oil to replace butter as these can leave a distinctive flavor through your baked goods. Instead, use canola oil that has no lingering flavor.
• If your recipe calls for buttermilk, you can still use your favorite non-dairy milk such as soymilk, almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, or rice milk. Simply add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the milk and allow it to sit for five minutes to develop the thickness and tang of buttermilk.
• Reducing the amount of fat in your vegan baked goods is as easy as replacing the oil with applesauce. The exchange is equal and you can experiment with different flavors to add layers of flavor to your finished products. While the apple flavor disappears in stronger flavored goods such as chocolate, try adding strawberry applesauce to a delicate white cake for a subtly enhanced flavor.
• Be careful when choosing margarine spreads to replace butter in baking. While these spreads lend a delicious buttery flavor when added to finished products, many of them contain high amounts of water which makes them unsuitable for addition to baking recipes. Most containers have a note about whether the product is suitable for baking.
• For a healthier alternative to lard or shortening in your recipes, try coconut oil. This product is solid at room temperature, just like shortening, and provides the same flakiness. Use raw oil for a delicate coconut flavor in your baked goods or filtered oil for a flavorless product.
• Many options are available to replace eggs in your vegan baking. Experiment with a variety of different replacements to gauge the flavor and different leavening and binding impact. Some replacements include half of a smashed banana and 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/2 teaspoon of corn starch, 1/4 cup silken tofu, or 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon vinegar. All of these equal one egg.
• If using baking soda and vinegar in any of your recipes, be sure to add the vinegar last as the reaction to baking soda is immediate and drastic.
There is no need for a vegan diet to be devoid of sumptuous homemade baked goodies. Whether you crave a loaf of fresh bread with dinner or want to indulge in a gooey chocolate cupcake, tweaking your recipe makes it possible to remove the animal products while keeping the tempting flavor.
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