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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:13 am 
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VeganMeredith wrote:
Arisaig wrote:
If it was too dense it may not have risen enough before baking, or there was too much flour for the amount of water.

Thanks! I let it rise for longer than the amount of time it said and I thought it was ready, but I wasn't totally sure.


In my experience, when it comes to rising times for breads, you have to take the times given in recipes just as a rough guideline. The real rising time you'll need will depend a lot on your specific room/fridge temperatures and those can vary enough that rising times may be halved or doubled or even changed more extremely than that.

Basically I just watch the dough until its size looks good to me. You can tweak times by e.g. putting the dough into the slightly warm oven or putting it into one of the cooler rooms in your appartment/house.

Oh, and if it was too dense then it probably is because of not enough rising time; even dougs with a high flour to water ratio can result in fluffy bread if given enough time for the yeast do its thing.
Also, what helps your bread to rise in the oven is to bake it with steam. That way the crust will harden later and let the air pockets formed by the yeast expand more. The crust will also caramelize a lot better with steam in the oven.


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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:01 am 
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Lily wrote:
VeganMeredith wrote:
Arisaig wrote:
If it was too dense it may not have risen enough before baking, or there was too much flour for the amount of water.

Thanks! I let it rise for longer than the amount of time it said and I thought it was ready, but I wasn't totally sure.


In my experience, when it comes to rising times for breads, you have to take the times given in recipes just as a rough guideline. The real rising time you'll need will depend a lot on your specific room/fridge temperatures and those can vary enough that rising times may be halved or doubled or even changed more extremely than that.

Basically I just watch the dough until its size looks good to me. You can tweak times by e.g. putting the dough into the slightly warm oven or putting it into one of the cooler rooms in your appartment/house.

Oh, and if it was too dense then it probably is because of not enough rising time; even dougs with a high flour to water ratio can result in fluffy bread if given enough time for the yeast do its thing.
Also, what helps your bread to rise in the oven is to bake it with steam. That way the crust will harden later and let the air pockets formed by the yeast expand more. The crust will also caramelize a lot better with steam in the oven.


Thanks for the pointers! How would you bake it with steam?


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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:28 am 
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VeganMeredith wrote:

Thanks for the pointers! How would you bake it with steam?


I add steam sometimes. After I put the bread in, I throw some water (maybe 1/4 cup) in the bottom of the oven.

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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:19 pm 
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My oven bottom is usually not quite clean, so I put a pan of boiling water on the lower shelf and the bread on the upper one.

This time of year in our climate I put my bread in the oven to rise. I turn the oven on for a minute or so to warm up and then turn it off. It is too chilly in my house to get a good rise in a reasonable time. The only exception to this is the no-knead bread - I just let that rise for longer on the counter.


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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:26 pm 
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Arisaig wrote:
My oven bottom is usually not quite clean, so I put a pan of boiling water on the lower shelf and the bread on the upper one.

This time of year in our climate I put my bread in the oven to rise. I turn the oven on for a minute or so to warm up and then turn it off. It is too chilly in my house to get a good rise in a reasonable time. The only exception to this is the no-knead bread - I just let that rise for longer on the counter.


Thanks Arisaig!


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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:07 pm 
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Arisaig wrote:
My oven bottom is usually not quite clean, so I put a pan of boiling water on the lower shelf and the bread on the upper one.

This time of year in our climate I put my bread in the oven to rise. I turn the oven on for a minute or so to warm up and then turn it off. It is too chilly in my house to get a good rise in a reasonable time. The only exception to this is the no-knead bread - I just let that rise for longer on the counter.



This is basically what I wanted to answer, so +1 yummy to this.

eta: the method with a pan of water on the low shelf and the bread on the high one works best if you have a convection oven. If you only have a 'normal' one, the pan with the water may block quite a bit of the heat from underneath the bread which is bad since strong heat from underneath gives you good oven spring (rise in the oven) - this is what baking stones are there for after all.
So, if you don't have convection it might work to create steam by spraying water into the hot oven with one of those mist bottles (I have no idea how they are called in proper English).


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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:08 am 
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For anyone who sees this and has made the Veganomicon Lemon Coconut Bundt cake....I have a question.

I followed instructions and cooked it in a dark nonstick metal bundt pan for the 1 hour at 350 degrees. The outside feels very hard. I'm wondering if I overcooked it or if the inside will be moist?

I'm serving it at a dinner party tonight, so I can't really cut into it and see, and I guses there isn't anything I can do now, but also wanted to see if this is "normal".


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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:33 pm 
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I made the Portobello Salad with Spicy Mustard Dressing and it was so good! Even my fiance who isn't usually a fan of mushrooms liked it. It was also a very simple to prepare meal.


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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:08 pm 
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jenlovesdoggies wrote:
For anyone who sees this and has made the Veganomicon Lemon Coconut Bundt cake....I have a question.

I followed instructions and cooked it in a dark nonstick metal bundt pan for the 1 hour at 350 degrees. The outside feels very hard. I'm wondering if I overcooked it or if the inside will be moist?

I'm serving it at a dinner party tonight, so I can't really cut into it and see, and I guses there isn't anything I can do now, but also wanted to see if this is "normal".


Well, I don't think it should feel really hard so maybe it is a little overbaked. Ovens are often not all too precise with temperatures so it is best to check on a baked good a couple of minutes before it is supposed to be done and then check again from time to time until it is time to take it out.

Are you planning to put a glaze on the cake? The moisture would soften the cake somewhat in case it is a little overdone and dry. What also helps is to put it into an airtight container until serving so it cannot dry out further.

Wishing you good luck with the dinner party and the cake!


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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:18 pm 
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Thank you Lily. Yes, it doesn't have much give on the outside of the cake, so I think I might have overdone it a little. I just got the Vegan Diner thread and see there is a lemon glaze in there, so I think I'll make that and put over it if it's too dry.

I'll keep a better eye on it next time! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:36 pm 
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I don't remember the outside being dark or hard. I think your oven was running hot and your cake got over baked. Glaze to the rescue!

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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:03 pm 
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The only issues I've had with the Bundt cake were from wrong coconut. I used stuff too finely shredded and my cake ended up a soggy, uncooked mess on the inside.

I bought a fancy Nordic Ware Bundt pan recently, and they all come out amazing and so evenly baked. Before that, I used to find them a wee bit fussy.

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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:59 am 
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The cake tasted delicious, but I think it was slightly overcooked. The inside was extremely crumbly and not as moist as I would have thought. Everyone liked it and the glaze helped soften it up.

I will definitely make it again, though. I loved the flavors.


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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:17 pm 
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i made the spicy peanut eggplant soup yesterday and it was a big hit. my husband was a bit wary of it at first and only took a small portion but then went back for more and said it was really good.

i have leftovers for lunch today.

yum!

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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:32 am 
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I made my first latkes last night! At first my "dough" was too dry and my oil was too hot, so they were burnt on the outside and undercooked on the inside. But I added some water to the mix and turned down the heat a bit and they came out much better. Now I feel like I know what I'm doing, and when I make them again they will all turn out well and it will be easier.

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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:57 am 
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Hey everyone-
Happy to find this forum!
Just started a yearlong project of cooking my way through this amazing cookbook. You can check it out here!

I'm loving almost all of the recipes I've cooked so far. Some of them are really blowing my mind. But yesterday, I had an epic fail, and I'm wondering if anyone here can solve or explain the disaster of my Spaghetti and Beanballs last night.

Here's the sad story from my blog. What's off here?


"After my experience with the Black Bean Burgers, I had really high hopes for how these beanballs would turn out. The burgers' combination of mashed beans and wheat gluten was really yummy and the texture was excellent! Alas, similar ingredients here resulted in a much different outcome....

There must be a typo or mistake in this recipe, because the consistency of these is all off. They don't hold together in the pan. The first issue points to the beans department. The recipe says to use a "20oz can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained, (about 3 cups)." First of all, I could not find a 20oz can of beans. So I found a 25oz can of beans, drained them, and used 4/5 of them (by weight). This did not equal three cups of beans. It was probably closer to two. Would more beans have helped here? I'm guessing no. I think the number that's off is the amount of wheat gluten. Or the bread crumbs. Also, must they be dried bread crumbs? Because I used fresh....

I knew something was wrong when I was kneading. It was quite wet, and I wasn't seeing any of the gluten-y strands forming. It's dense enough that the balls can be shaped successfully, but it's certainly not firm, as I&T say it should be. So when you try to brown them in oil, they start disintegrating. Boo.

My next issue is what could only be described as a missing instruction in the pan frying version of the recipe. You are told to pan fry them in 1/4 inch of olive oil (see photo). Then, you add 1/3 cup of sauce to the pan with the beanballs, cook them fifteen minutes longer, and then serve them with "sauce." Can you picture it? That "sauce" is one part marinara to 10 parts olive oil. No one wants to eat something swimming in that!?! The missing instruction must be to drain the oil off, right?? I got out my baster, and sucked as much out of the pan as I could.

Meanwhile, the only way to get the beanballs to hold a shape was to fry them to the point of burnt. At least the burnt ones had some flavor to them... that's right: to add insult to injury, these are not particularly well-seasoned either.

Geez, I feel like I'm being so harsh, but I had such high hopes for these being a happy introduction to vegan food for Tracy. Is there an official I&T recipe correction? Or do they stand by this recipe as written?? Hmmm."

Anyone??
Thanks!
Jeff

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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:10 am 
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Hi veganomenkrantz! What a great project!

veganomenkrantz wrote:
Hey everyone-


There must be a typo or mistake in this recipe, because the consistency of these is all off. They don't hold together in the pan. The first issue points to the beans department. The recipe says to use a "20oz can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained, (about 3 cups)." First of all, I could not find a 20oz can of beans. So I found a 25oz can of beans, drained them, and used 4/5 of them (by weight). This did not equal three cups of beans. It was probably closer to two. Would more beans have helped here? I'm guessing no. I think the number that's off is the amount of wheat gluten. Or the bread crumbs. Also, must they be dried bread crumbs? Because I used fresh....

I knew something was wrong when I was kneading. It was quite wet, and I wasn't seeing any of the gluten-y strands forming. It's dense enough that the balls can be shaped successfully, but it's certainly not firm, as I&T say it should be. So when you try to brown them in oil, they start disintegrating. Boo.

My next issue is what could only be described as a missing instruction in the pan frying version of the recipe. You are told to pan fry them in 1/4 inch of olive oil (see photo). Then, you add 1/3 cup of sauce to the pan with the beanballs, cook them fifteen minutes longer, and then serve them with "sauce." Can you picture it? That "sauce" is one part marinara to 10 parts olive oil. No one wants to eat something swimming in that!?! The missing instruction must be to drain the oil off, right?? I got out my baster, and sucked as much out of the pan as I could.

Jeff


I've made these three times, and have adjusted the recipe a little. I usually add more gluten flour, just small amounts until it feels right. I mash the beans well, usually in my food processor, I think the balls hold together better without large bits of beans in them. I bake them in the oven with plenty of oil, but don't pour sauce over them.

I think I see a possible cause for your problems with the oily sauce: You're supposed to make one batch of the marinara sauce from the book, add 1/3 to the pan, and add the rest when serving. It could also have to do with your dough being wet - my beanballs usually absorb most of the oil so there isn't any left in the pan. With fresh breadcrumbs I'm thinking you could use less water. I promise they're worth a second try, good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:29 am 
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Just want to share my epic love for the coconut lemon bundt cake. Made it again yesterday (made it once before, three years ago) and it's so so so good and EASY to make. It's huge as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:57 am 
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pannkakan wrote:
Just want to share my epic love for the coconut lemon bundt cake. Made it again yesterday (made it once before, three years ago) and it's so so so good and EASY to make. It's huge as well.


It's so so tasty! And the size - I tried to bake it in a regular hålform (a bundt pan but lower) and realised that everything really is bigger "over there"... The batter makes great cupcakes though.

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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:16 am 
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amonik wrote:
pannkakan wrote:
Just want to share my epic love for the coconut lemon bundt cake. Made it again yesterday (made it once before, three years ago) and it's so so so good and EASY to make. It's huge as well.


It's so so tasty! And the size - I tried to bake it in a regular hålform (a bundt pan but lower) and realised that everything really is bigger "over there"... The batter makes great cupcakes though.

Hah. Yeah, I think I halved the recipe to make one "normal sized" cake...


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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:24 am 
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veganomenkrantz wrote:
I'm loving almost all of the recipes I've cooked so far. Some of them are really blowing my mind. But yesterday, I had an epic fail, and I'm wondering if anyone here can solve or explain the disaster of my Spaghetti and Beanballs last night.

OK, so I love this recipe, but I realise that I don't actually follow it. Instead I go by intuition (not helpful). I always fry mine in just a bit of oil (I never follow the instructions for amount of oil in this book - I couldn't stomach it) and always use dry breadcrumbs, fresh would definitely behave differently. It would probably be helpful if the book specified which type to use, because for the Pumpkin Baked Ziti you really need to use fresh or you'll get a load of dry crumbly mess...


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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:11 pm 
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Hey Jeff, thanks for posting your blog, I can't wait to read it. I've only tried a handful of recipes from Veganomicon so far, but I plan to change that myself this year.


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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:47 pm 
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veganomenkrantz wrote:
Hey everyone-
Happy to find this forum!
Just started a yearlong project of cooking my way through this amazing cookbook. You can check it out here!



I am really enjoying your blog!! And taking mental notes so as to learn from your experience. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:11 pm 
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I finally made the pound cake last night. I have no idea what took me so long to make this. I loved it. Its so moist and it was very easy to make. I don't know why but I love to make baked goods that contain tofu. I had some frozen blueberry pie filling I had left over from a recent pie I made. I thawed it and served it on top of the cake - amazing. This one will be in my regular rotation. I think this would make a lovely cake for a large dinner party or baked food gift for someone.


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 Post subject: Re: Veganomicon
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:03 am 
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PorshaJo wrote:
I finally made the pound cake last night. I have no idea what took me so long to make this. I loved it. Its so moist and it was very easy to make. I don't know why but I love to make baked goods that contain tofu. I had some frozen blueberry pie filling I had left over from a recent pie I made. I thawed it and served it on top of the cake - amazing. This one will be in my regular rotation. I think this would make a lovely cake for a large dinner party or baked food gift for someone.


For Christmas my mom gave me a baking pan that makes edible food bowls - I was thinking that the pound cake would be perfect for that. Glad to hear that it's a great recipe!


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