Category: Bread

[tweetmeme source=”VeganChickie”] My friend Amy was the inspiration behind this recipe, she was visiting us last week and mentioned making calzones as her cooking specialty and I have been dreaming out them ever since. As a rule I absolutely love *anything* that is made by wrapping food in pastry: dumplings, pies, samosas, spring rolls, you name it and I love it. Calzones are no exception and they are so versatile, anything that goes well on a pizza will go well inside these babies! I used some ground up chia seeds in the dough mixture, but they are an optional ingredient, they were added for their nutritional content and not because they were required for the consistency of the dough. The tofu ricotta recipe came from the PPK website.

Mushroom, Tomato & Olive Calzone with Tofu Ricotta

For the dough:
1 tbs dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs ground chia seeds (optional)
Pinch of salt

For the Tofu Ricotta:
1 pckg firm tofu – pressed
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
Pinch of black pepper

For the calzone filling:
1 cup button mushrooms, chopped
Fresh basil leaves, chopped
5 cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup olives chopped
2 tbs tomato paste


1. Prepare the tofu ricotta according to THIS recipe from Isa Chandra and refrigerate until ready to use.

2. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast on the warm water, and stir to dissolve. Set aside until the yeast starts forming bubbles in about 5 minutes. Sift in the flour, add the oil and salt and mix together with a wooden spoon until ingredients are combined and then mix with your hands to form your dough. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes and then cover and set aside (preferably somewhere warm) for 1.5 – 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

4. On a floured surface divide the dough into 8 equal parts (or four if you are making large calzones). Roll each segment into a circle and place your calzone filling ingredients on one half of the dough, the ratios are up to you, just make sure there is enough filling so that when you fold the dough over a nice pocket of filling is formed. I put the tomato paste first, then top with basil, mushrooms, tomato, olives and finally top with some of the ricotta filling.

4. fold the dough over to form a pocket, press the edges together with your thumb. Place your calzones on a greased oven proof tray and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

NOTE: I left the ingredients quite large for some of these photos, so that you could see, but the smaller you chop them, the better the flavour distribution will be inside your calzone. Recipe above will make 4 large calzones or 8 small ones.


Crusty Italian Bread

[tweetmeme source=”VeganChickie”] This is a really simple bread recipe, great for making delicious crusty bread without a bread-maker. We found the original recipe here, and created the vegan version below. Leave the loaf to cool for as long as you can bear it before slicing the bread, the longer you leave it the crunchier the crust will be, but I won’t blame you if you can’t wait long, who can resist the smell of freshly baked bread? Not I!

Homemade Crusty Italian Bread


1 cup hot water
1/2 cup soy milk
2 tbs agave nectar
2-1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
3 cups bread flour
1 cup semolina flour
1 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Cooking oil spray


In a large mixing bowl, combine water, milk, and agave nectar. Sprinkle yeast over top – do not stir. Allow to stand 10-15 minutes until foamy. Add 2 cups of flour. Using electric mixer, beat on low for 4 minutes. Cover bowl with a towel. Place in an unheated oven and allow to stand 1-2 hours.

Remove bowl from oven and add remaining cup of bread flour, semolina flour, salt and olive oil. Using your electric mixer with a dough hook, beat for 5 minutes. Spray another large mixing bowl with cooking spray. Pour dough into that bowl. Turn over until dough is covered with oil. Cover and let rest 15 minutes.

Sprinkle a cookie sheet with several teaspoons of flour to stop the dough from sticking. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into an oval mound. Flatten slightly until each half is about 6 inches across. Spray tops of dough loaves with nonstick spray. Put cookie sheet into unheated oven to rise another 30 minutes to 1 hour, until doubled. Remove dough from oven. Preheat oven to 230 degrees.

Using a sharp knife, make 3 slits across top of bread about 1/4 inch deep. Fill a small round cake pan with 1/2 inch of water. Place on cake pan on bottom rack in oven. Place cookie sheet with bread dough on it on the middle rack of the oven. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. If bread browns too quickly, cover it with foil for the last 5-10 minutes of baking.

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Bake Your Own Bread

[tweetmeme source="VeganChickie"]I’ve never baked my own bread before so my bread baking mission today was quite fun. Next time I’ll add lots of seeds to make it nice and grainy and I think I might make the next batch using half white flour and half wholemeal (this time I used only white) but it all comes down to what type of bread you like I suppose so I’ll leave that up to you! The recipe makes 2 loaves of bread.


2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 cups hot water
3 tablespoons raw sugar
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 cups flour
Non dairy milk or margarine to glaze
1/2 cup sesame seeds or poppy seeds (optional)


1. Pour warm water into a small bowl and add the yeast, DO NOT STIR. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, pour hot water over the raw sugar and salt, stir to completely dissolve. Add 3 cups of flour and mix well. Pour the oil over the mixture, add the yeast mixture (do not stir). Add the remaining 3 cups of flour and mix well (you will probably have to use your hands at this point).

3. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set aside to rise. Leave the mixture to sit for 1 hour.

4. Divide the mixture into two lots and knead the dough for about 10 minutes per batch (the recipe doesn’t require a lot of kneading so you don’t have to be too rough with it). Put each batch of dough into a greased loaf tin and cover with a damp towel for another hour.

5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Glaze the top of the dough with non dairy milk or margarine, top with sesame seeds (or poppy seeds or nothing at all! Whatever you want!) and bake for 25 minutes.

NOTE: I had my oven on regular bake for the first 15 minutes and then turned it to fan bake for the final 10 minutes so that the top was extra crunchy, but if you can’t do that with your oven it doesn’t matter!

Vegan Stuffing

[tweetmeme source="VeganChickie"]I made this stuffing to go with my Christmas nut roast but it was so delicious that I decided that it deserved a post all on it’s own. I’m tempted to make a up another giant batch to have on sandwiches for the next fortnight. So good! For some reason I didn’t take many photos of this process.. I was cooking a bunch of things at once and it was so easy that I guess I didn’t think of it! Oops!

Vegan Stuffing


1 cup bread crumbs
1 tbs olive oil
1 small leek finely chopped
3 celery ribs finely chopped
1 vegetable stock cube
100g button mushrooms finely chopped
1 clove garlic crushed
4 tbs fresh parsley finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 cup melted non dairy butter
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a baking tray with baking paper, cover with breadcrumbs and put in the oven for approx 10 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are browned. It might be best to keep an eye on the breadcrumbs, some ovens might need less than 10 mins and it’s a fine line between toasted and burned!

2. Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the leek, garlic, celery and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until vegetables are soft then remove from the heat.

3. Crumble the stock cube into the pan and mix well so that the vegetables are coated, add the parsley, dried herbs and salt and pepper, mixing well to combine. Stir through the melted butter and then, finally, add the toasted breadcrumbs and stir everything well so that the ingredients are evenly combined.

4. Serve it, warm or cold, as a side to your favourite meal (or on sandwiches which is what I do!).

Vegan Blueberry Corn Pancakes

Sunday brunch in the comfort of our own home.. what a luxury! Cheffy and I, woke up early and lounged around the house for a while, reading and whatnot, until my stomach started growling that is (I am pretty growly myself when I am hungry so the stomach growling is a good indication for dear chef that it’s time to get acookin!). We do all our weekly grocery shopping on a Saturday morning after scouring cookbooks and planning our weekly meals. We try to get all our fruit and veg from the organic farmers market in the city, although this week we were pretty slack, anyway, the point is, that because we were all organised we already had all the ingredients for vegan blueberry corn pancakes, another recipe from Veganomicon.

Blueberry Corn Pancakes
(makes 8 – 10 pancakes)


3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil (any mild tasting veg oil will do)
1 1/4 cup plain soy milk
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh blueberries

blueberry pancake mixture


Preheat a large non-stick pan on medium high heat. Sift together, flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine all other ingredients. Add wet to dry, mix until just combined, then fold in the blueberries. Do not over mix or pancakes will be tough, a couple of lumps is ok.

Spray pan with cooking spray. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup or an ice cream scoop to pour out batter into pan. Cook pancakes until brown on bottom and bubbles form on top, about 4 minutes. Flip pancakes over with a thin spatula and cook until bottoms are brown and pancakes are barely firm to touch. Transfer to plates. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

pancakes a-cookin

It was a first for this recipe and the pancakes were great. We served them with lemon juice (from the lemon we used for the rind.. no need to waste it!) and sugar sprinkled over the top. Cheffy said he would have liked them to be a bit sweeter – maybe some maple syrup added to the mix would have worked – but I thought they were great as is. All in all a tasty, fast, easy recipe. Perfect for a lazy Sunday at home.. (but I would say that since I just had to take the photos while dear chef did all the work!).