I’m trying something new for sourdough quarantine baking: pumpkin cinnamon rolls. The two cans were the perfect amount. Because the filling is wetter than regular cinnamon rolls, the unrisen rolls are droopy. I don’t think it will matter, but I’ll see! I intend to eat these for breakfast, so they are healthier, too: less sugar, basted with melted vegan butter, but none in the dough or spread on the rolled out sections.
My vegan version of World War II Mayonnaise Cake, baked at 7,000 feet elevation. Mayonnaise Cake was created by inventive cooks who looked for ways to make familiar foods in a time of rationing. The mayonnaise substitutes for butter and eggs. I used Vegenaise and a modified New York Times recipe.
Cocoa Vegan Mayonnaise Cake
1. Bring 3/4 cup water to a boil: Try using tea or coffee to add flavors like espresso and peppermint.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I prefer Frontier Coop Dutch-processed).
3. Pour in the boiling water, let sit for a few minutes to make it easy for the cocoa to dissolve, then whisk until smooth.
4. Whisk in 2/3 cup Vegenaise, 1 teaspoon vanilla or other flavoring extract, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda and 3/4 cup granulated sugar. The liquid portion will become smooth.
5. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups flour (I use home ground whole wheat, but commercial whole wheat pastry flour all-purpose flour work, too) until there are not any lumps.
7. Use a spatula to help pour the batter into a greased 8- or 9-inch diameter pan or cookie sheet with bar cookie indentations or a cup cake pan (smaller cakes are better at high altitude). Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on altitude and size of cake(s), until the tops spring back when the center is gently pressed.
I’m reading news reports about the disappearance of baking yeast in many grocery stores. If you keep a #sourdough culture, you never need to buy baking yeast. You even can convert quick bread and related baking recipes to sourdough versions!
My book, “Wild Bread,” explains how to capture your own sourdough culture in your own home and care for it. It also explains how to convert baking yeast recipes and quick bread recipes to sourdough versions. I have had my sourdough starter for 25 years! You can purchase my book, “Wild Bread,” in Kindle form if you want an instant download to avoid possible coronavirus exposure. Of course, paper copies are also available from Amazon and lisarayner.com. My friend Dan runs lisarayner.com.
A brief essay on making substitutions for sourdough baking if you’re living in a state with shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders: I ran out of semolina due to other people’s panic buying because of the pandemic. I’m at high risk for coronavirus complications so I’m avoiding shopping in stores. I was going through my food storage and realized I had blue corn atole, a type of roasted cornmeal. It works perfectly well for dusting pans. I also have some garbanzo flour and teff grain in my freezer. I have started adding small amounts of one or the other to each sourdough bread loaf to stretch out my supplies and spread out consumption of extra nutrients to maintain my health. I’m using olive oil to oil pans because I have more olive oil on hand than other oils and fats.
You can purchase my book, “Wild Bread,” in Kindle form if you want an instant download to avoid possible coronavirus exposure. Of course, paper copies are also available from Amazon and lisarayner.com. My friend Dan runs lisarayner.com and runs a considerably more sanitary operation than Amazon warehouses are experiencing right now. He only has one employee.
My gardening book, “Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains,” has a chapter on food substitutions—how to use local and home grown ingredients in place of imported foods. A sustainable future will require a relocalization of food systems based on small farms with permaculture polycultures.
Super easy sourdough cinnamon rolls. The recipe is in my book.
I make them vegan by using vegan butter.
Pizza. Yum. Photos from our most recent bi-weekly vegan pizza night. Lately, I’ve been making pizza sauce using cooked winter squash like butternut or kabocha in place of tomato paste. I add our favorite Italian herbs and spices just as I would for a tomato-based pizza sauce. On top of the sauce is eggplant sauteed in tamari. The pizza pictured has two different veggie areas: mushroom and red bell pepper, and zucchini. I partially melt a little Daiya nondairy cheese on top after the pizza is baked. Then I add steamed broccoli and let the pizza cool before slicing to ensure a good crust texture. There is more broccoli on the zucchini section of this pizza to make up for fewer kinds of veggies. The 100% whole wheat crust was absolutely delicious. I’m having so much fun with unlimited amounts of whole wheat flour.