Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Cinnamon Walnut Raisin Loaf

The obsession with vegan baking continues (thanks in part to Fuss Free Flavours, one of my favourite food blogs). I had a not quite so successful run at muffins before the long weekend and was so disappointed with the results, I thought it was time to stop messing around making up vegan baking recipes myself and to start following what the experts do. Luckily, you can get no better expert in vegan baking than the excellent Isa at Post Punk Kitchen. I followed her recipe to the letter but substituted the sugar for a splash of agave and added in some chopped walnuts as I'd just been given some fresh from our friend's farm in the Lebanon.

Cinnamon Walnut Raisin Bread

1 1/2 cups spelt flour

1 cup of organic jumbo oats

1 1/2 teaspoons of gluten free baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1/4 cup agave nectar

3/4 cup raisins (I used sultanas)

1/4 apple juice (I used Meridian Apple Concentrate diluted)

1 1/4 cup applesauce

1/4 rapeseed oil

2 tablespoons ground flax mixed with 6 tablespoons water

1/4 rice milk

Handful of walnuts crushed into small pieces.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Soak the raisins in the apple juice. Mix the spelt flour, oats, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the agave, applesauce, oil, flax mixture and rice milk and mix with the dry ingredients until combined well. Add raisins and apple juice. Add the walnut pieces and mix well. Pour into a pre-oiled baking tin and bake for around 50-60 minutes or until the top is crusty and a skewer comes out cleanly.

This was such a quick and easy loaf to make, it looked fantastic and it made the house smell divine. I'm rather inclined to agree with Isa that with vegan baking, you are "creating edible art, making your house a home and solving world peace all at once". I may even try this in muffin tins next time. It's a dense loaf although perfectly moist but works well cut thickly, toasted and spread with leftover applesauce.

I found Isa's guide to vegan baking incredibly helpful and it helped me to realise where I was going wrong before (not enough egg substitute) and I can't wait to try more techniques. This obsession looks like it could run and run.....

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