Cooking with whole grains and incorporating a plant-based eating plan into your life can have numerous health benefits. For a sweet treat, this may mean using wheat flour and plant-based sugars that give the food a different texture and cooking time. If you are a vegan, or even if you want to bake more healthful treats for your family, there are ways to improve the quality, texture, and taste of your homemade goods:
Stone counter-tops work best.
Whether preparing vegan treats or any kind of baked good, stone counters are the way to go. The cool façade maintains the integrity of your dough, and creates a much-better finished product.
Bake a little longer.
When working with whole wheat flour, you may notice that you need to extend the baking time a little longer than usual. Whole wheat flour is dense flour, and if it is under-cooked, it may take on a gummy texture. If using a bread machine, set it for a larger loaf when using whole wheat flour to extend the normal baking time a bit.
Sweeten things up a bit.
Some of the sugar substitutes used in a plant-based diet are not the same sweetness as sugar, so read the label carefully. Coconut sugar, for instance, doesn't seem as sweet so you may need to add a bit more. If you aren't satisfied with the sweetness after you have baked your goodies, drizzle a little honey on top when they are still warm to sweeten them up a little.
Create some condensation.
Breads and loaves can be moistened up a bit if you happen to overcook them, or if you are afraid they will be dry, by wrapping them in plastic when they are still warm. This plastic will help the loaf to "sweat", creating condensation which results in moistness for your bread or cake.
Don't mix too much.
Whenever you are working with wheat or whole grain flours, be careful not to over mix your batter or dough. Wheat flour can become bread-like fast, and over-mixing may make your pastries and goodies a bit tough.
Flour the berries.
Berries are a great way to add a little healthful punch to your favorite muffin or cookie recipe. The problem is when the berries, both frozen and fresh, sink to the bottom and become a mushy mess, and this is even more common when working with whole wheat flour. Lightly toss and flour berries to stand up in batters, rather than sink to the bottom, making your baked goods better.
When executed well, nobody will be able to tell that your baked goods are vegan or plant-based. This may require you to adjust cooking times, modify recipes, and change the way that you bake, but will result in better, tastier treats. Try these tips the next time you whip up a loaf of bread, batch of muffins, or a cake!
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