One of the Gentle World volunteers makes a Focaccia bread that rivals a good vegan pizza. The recipe she uses can be found on the following page, though I suspect she has a trick or two up her sleeve to make it taste even better!
Of course, the Focaccia is a yeasted bread, and if you don’t have time to wait for yeast to rise, check out the final two recipes for simple, non-yeasted flatbreads. They’re made with baking soda rather than yeast, so they require much less preparation time, and won’t cause problems for those with yeast allergies.
Either of the final two recipes can accompany a meal that includes a soup, stew, or spread of some sort, or can simply be served for lunch along with a tasty topping such as Tofu “Eggless” Salad or Cashew-Carrot Paté.
yields 1 large or 2 small loaves
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. unrefined sweetener such as Rapadura
3 Tbsp. oil
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
4–5 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup chives (or onion), chopped
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh rosemary (optional)
2 tomatoes, sliced
To make dough with a bread maker, do so according to your machine’s directions. The water should go in first and the yeast last to keep it dry. Begin here at step 3.
1. Dissolve yeast with sweetener in warm water (not hot) and let sit for at least 15 minutes in a warm place until yeast bubbles and is doubled in size.
2. Combine yeast mixture with oil and salt. Slowly add the flour until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers but is still elastic and not dry. On a floured board, knead for 10 more minutes. Let dough rise for one hour in a draft-free, warm place (covered with a towel).
3. Punch down dough and coat with 2 T. olive oil. Let rise for another 30 minutes.
4. Roll out flat onto one 16” x 20” oiled baking sheet or make two smaller loaves.
5. Cover dough with remaining olive oil and sprinkle on the toppings.
6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350° for 30–35 minutes.
Sesame Flat Bread
yields 20 flat breads
1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
3 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. unrefined sweetener such as Rapadura
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup soy milk
1. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir.
2. Mix in oil. Mixture will form fine crumbs.
3. Stir in soy milk and sesame seeds. Shape dough into a ball.
4. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into one inch balls. Roll them out thin between wax paper.
5. Line a cookie sheet with baking paper and place each flat bread on it. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400° for 7–10 minutes. Cool.
Sesame Herb Crackers
yields approx. 16 crackers
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. wheat germ
1 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. bran
1/2 tsp. each: dried oregano, basil & parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 cup cold water
4 Tbsp. sesame oil
1. Sift flour and baking soda into a bowl. Add remaining dry ingredients and stir.
2. Mix water and oil into the dry mixture.
3. Roll dough out between wax paper and place onto a cookie sheet lined with baking paper.
4. Gently cut into squares before baking, not cutting all the way through the dough.
5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350° for 17–20 minutes.
6. Cool and break crackers along pre-cut lines.
•Variation ~ Substitute 1/4 cup onion flakes and/or nutritional yeast for the bran and wheat germ.
•Variation ~ For a simple sesame cracker, do not add herbs.