In case you’re stuck in a recipe rut this month, here is a fail-safe favourite of vegetarian recipes to add to your repertoire. This meat-free vegetable and sesame loaf packs a flavour punch, as well as being super healthy. Happy cooking and eating!
“This moist and tasty loaf keeps well for several days. I suggest cutting it into thick slices and lightly toasting them, then enjoying with some good quality butter.”- Dean Brettschneider, Founder and CEO of Baker & Cook, Plank Sourdough Pizza and Brettschneider’s Baking & Cooking School
This recipe makes two loafs
• 1 large carrot (165g), grated
• 2 onions (165g), finely chopped
• 1 zucchini (90g), finely sliced then roughly chopped
• 1 red capsicum (90g), diced
• 10g salt
• 350g wholemeal flour
• 150g bread flour
• 5g instant dry yeast
• Prepared vegetables (see instructions below)
• 100ml water, or as needed depending on amount of moisture drawn out from the vegetables
• 100g white sesame seeds
Instructions for vegetables:
1. Place vegetables in a large bowl. Add salt and toss to mix.
2. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for one hour to draw out the moisture from the vegetables, which will be added into the dough mix.
Instructions for dough:
1. Place all dough ingredients (except sesame seeds) into a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, combine to form a dough mass. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 15 to 20 minutes, resting for a minute every few minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. The dough will be sticky at first, but don’t be tempted to add excessive amounts of flour.
2. Lightly oil a bowl large enough to allow dough to double in bulk. Place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place (around 25 degrees Celsius) for one hour.
3. Knock back the dough in the bowl by gently folding it back onto itself; this will deflate the dough slightly. Cover with plastic wrap and leave again for 30 minutes.
4. Tip dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a plastic dough scraper, divide the dough into two equal pieces (560g each). Gently mould each piece into a roundish shape, cover with plastic wrap and rest for 15 minutes.
5. On a lightly floured work surface, mould and roll each ball of dough into an oblong shape – the tighter the roll, the better.
6. Lightly roll each log on a clean, wet tea towel, then roll in sesame seeds to coat. Place each log in a 19 x 11cm loaf tin, cover with plastic wrap and leave for an hour.
7. To tell whether the dough is fully proved, lightly press your finger into the side. If the indentation slowly springs back but doesn’t go back to its original shape (and instead leaves a small indentation), the dough is ready to go in the oven.
8. Place loaves on the bottom shelf of the preheated (230 degrees Celsius) oven, add steam by spraying oven walls with warm water from a spray bottle, and close door. Bake for 20 minutes. Note: the bread will have that “spring” if the oven is moist.
9. Lower oven temperature to 200 degrees Celsius and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until bottom of loaves sound hollow when tapped.
10. Remove from oven and leave to cool in tins for five minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool.
This recipe is from Dean’s new cookbook, Baker & Cook: The Stories and Recipes Behind the Successful Artisan Bakery and Food Store.
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This article first appeared in the April/May 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.