Raw Vegan Bread has to be one of my favorite foods to make and one of the things I get asked the most about.
"How do you make raw bread?"
I will share with you some easy tips and tricks that I have learned through trial and error that should help you have a successful bread loaf with your first try.
Really the perfect raw bread all comes down to a few things: Texture, mixing by hand, and shaping the dough so it dehydrates evenly.
I always grind my ingredients fresh for each loaf. Each bread recipe calls for almond flour so I put my whole almonds in a coffee grinder until it becomes a fine powder. It couldn't be more fresh. I feel this works very well for giving the bread a better overall texture. (side note: you can also use the strained leftover almond flour from making almond milk! Just make sure you use caution when adding in the water for the recipe because your almonds are already wet.)You can use almond flour from the store if you want, that works just fine, and you can ignore everything I just said.
I do the same thing with the ground flax seed. I use a coffee grinder to make flax seed flour from whole flax seeds and make it on the spot for each time I make this recipe.Fresh, fresh, fresh!The purpose of the ground flax in this recipe is to not only add in those wonderful Omega-3 fatty acids but to help the bread dough to hold together. It works as a binding agent. There is nothing worse than waiting 8-12 hours for your bread loaf to dehydrate only to find out that when you slice it the pieces crumble apart. You don't want this. Trust me.
Along with texture an important ingredient, and possibly the most important, is psyllium husk.This comes from the husks of the Plantago Otava plant's seeds. It is a fiber used mainly for soaking up water in your gut and aids with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and is great for digestion. That is not the reason we are using this ingredient in bread making. However, if you have some digestion issues then this is the recipe for you! Eat up! So not only does psyllium husk soak up water in the gut, but it also soaks up the water in your bread dough. When the psyllium husk does this it creates a doughy egg like consistency giving your bread a light and spongy texture. Without this single ingredient your bread will be very dry and heavy. You can find this ingredient at most health food stores and even your neighborhood Walmart.
I like to add in some crunchy nuts and seeds or dried fruit to make the bread more colorful and exciting.
An example might be walnuts and raisins.
I often use sunflower or pumpkin seeds, but really you can throw in any of your favorite goodies and make it yours. Have fun with it but don't go too crazy now. Keep in mind the bigger the pieces of nuts, and the more quantity you add, the bread loaf will have a harder time holding together. So I recommend sticking to about 1/2 - 2/3 cup maximum nuts and seeds added to a single recipe.
The longer you mix you may notice the dough becoming spongy and more dry. This is because the flax seed and psyllium husk are going to work soaking up the moisture in the dough. Keep in mind as you add more water that the wetter the dough the longer it will take to dehydrate.
Shaping the Loaf
Once you have thoroughly mixed your dough you have a few options with loaf shape depending on your food dehydrator. If you have a traditional round food dehydrator with tray clearance of 3/4" to 1 1/2". You may not be able to make a bread loaf. But don't worry, you don't need to go out and buy a brand new food dehydrator, you can simply roll out your
dough flat on the dehydrator trays and score the dough into the desired slices of bread.
I have used this method for years and have found that my bread dehydrates at a much quicker pace and more evenly than a loaf. Another option for you would be to take a small amount of dough and shape in into individual slices on the food dehydrator trays. Again this method works very well.
If you have an Excalibur food dehydrator you can make a whole bread loaf by removing a tray or two to give the bread space.Shape the dough into a circle and place on the counter. Flatten it down a tad and round off the edges. You want the bread loaf to be shorter and wider making it easier to dehydrate all the way through. So I recommend keeping your loaf about 3" tall or less. When shaping your bread loaf keep in mind that the thicker it is the longer it will take to dehydrate. You can create a long log like loaf (picture left) or short and round. (Top Photo)Just make sure it isn't too thick from top to bottom or the bread loaf will be dry on the outside and still wet on the inside.I like to give my bread a design on top, not only to make it look like a cooked loaf of bread, but also to pierce closer to the center so it will dehydrate faster. If you find that after dehydrating your bread it is still wet on the inside you can slice the loaf and continue to dehydrate the slices until done.
Once your bread is in the food dehydrator turn it on to 115F for 8-12 hours depending on which method you used to shape your bread. Once the bread is mostly dry I like to turn the temp down to 95F and let it go until dry all the way through. Now some food dehydrators don't go down to 95F and that is just fine. Just put it at the lowest setting until done. To tell if the bread loaf is ready you can use a toothpick or knife on the bottom of the loaf to check if it is done. If it is wet on the inside it will appear slightly darker.
Storing you Bread
Make sure your bread is all the way cooled down before storing. I use Tupperware containers with a paper towel in the bottom to store my bread. You can use a zip lock bag as well. That works just fine.Place in the refrigerator and use within 3-4 days. When serving your bread you can always serve it cold or at room temperature. Another option would be to pop it in the food dehydrator for 15-20 minutes to warm it up.
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
This easy to make recipe is great along side a cup of hot tea.It's Vegan, raw, gluten free, and oil free! Author: Raw Chef Emily - Bee loved Kitchen
Prep Time:8-12 Hours Dehydration Time: 6 min
Yields: 5" loaf / appx 7 slices Category: Side Cuisine: Raw Vegan Method: Food dehydrator
Ingredients: 2 cups Almond Flour
1/2 cup Ground Flax Seeds
1/2 cup Psyllium Husk
1/4 cup Walnuts
1/3 cup Raisins
1/4 cup Medjool Dates
1/2 cup water
1/8 tsp Sea Salt
1/8 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Vanilla
Step 1. In a large bowl combine almond flour, ground flax seeds, psyllium husk, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, and sea salt. Step 2. In a blender mix medjool dates and water together until completely smooth. Step 3. Pour the date mixture over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly by hand. Step 4. Shape into desired bread loaf shape or spread 3/4 inch thick on a food dehydrator tray. Step 5. Dehydrate at 115F for 8-12 hours. (time may vary based on dehydrator)