Updated: May 19, 2019
I had a food blog for five minutes when my youngest was a baby. I thought it was something that I could easily do from home with young kids. I did it for about 4 months. Wow! What a lot of work. I really have so much respect for food bloggers that regularly post content.
Anyhow, this was by far my most popular recipe. For those that cannot or choose not to have dairy and eggs this usually means missing out on special holiday foods. In our home one of those foods for us was my mother-in-laws delicious easter bread. My hubby is from Ukrainian heritage and so Easter just isn't Easter without the beautifully braided breads. So, I took to task veganizing my mother-in-laws recipe.
With the discovery earlier last year of aquafaba, this turned out beautifully! Aquafaba? Yes, aquafaba. It is the liquid that canned chick peas are packed in and it is magical. It can be made to use royal icing, merengues... easter bread, and much, much more.
This dairy free, egg free bread has a perfect texture and even my father-in-law was super impressed with the flavour. I doubt that anyone around your family table would even miss the dairy and eggs, I'd bet good money on it. The recipe does take a long time to make only because it is risen three times, but otherwise its really quite straight forward.
WARNING: One thing to warn you about it though, especially due to its deliciousness this bread is something I do consider a treat. Though it is lower in calories and fat due to replacing the eggs with a low calorie, virtually fat free substitute, there is still added oil and sugar and therefore gets classified as a special occasion treat food for me, especially since I put Earth Balance buttery spread on it too. So enjoy, but with eyes wide open. Evidently, not all recipes on a health coach's blog are health foods. But you know what, that's okay because not all days are big family celebrations. So have a little, and share the rest!
Alright lets get to it.
Look at that crust, texture, crumb!
Easter Pascha Bread - Andrea Sereda
vegan, dairy-free, egg-free
Prep time 20 mins Cook Time 1 hour Total time 3 hours 15 mins
Makes 2 large rounds
What we need:
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/2 cups of aquafaba (liquid from a can of no salt added chickpeas)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup earth balance spread, melted to warm but not hot
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened soy milk, scalded **
11 1/2 cups flour
Putting it all together:
1. Combine the first three ingredients until yeast is dissolved. Set aside for 10 minutes.
2. With Aquafaba in a separate bowl, beat well. I used an immersion blender to get a
nice foam on top.
3. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment combine proofed yeast mixture, beaten
aquafaba, sugar, warm butter, oil, salt, and scalded milk. (** See notes for how to
scald milk below). Once well combined, change mixer attachment to dough hook.
4. Begin slowly adding the flour, scraping the sides as needed. Allow the dough hook to
knead the dough until well combined and the dough is pulling away from the sides of
the bowl. You can also mix and knead by hand if you prefer.
5. Place the dough in a large bowl or dutch oven. I used a bit of cooking spray on the
bowl first. Cover with parchment paper and a tea towel that has been made damp
with warm water. Allow to rise until it doubles in size. If you have a bread proofing
option on your oven (100 degrees) this take approximately 35 minutes.
6. Punch down the dough and set aside to let it rise again.
7. After the second rise, take the dough and divide into two equal pieces with a knife.
Set one section aside and cover while you work with the other.
8. Lets get fancy! With the dough, make a 1” base and place is at the bottom of a 9”
greased pan. I used a round enamel covered cast iron dutch oven and it worked really
well. Take 2 equal pieces of dough and roll each into long ropes, approximately 36
inches long. Place them side by side and starting from on end twist them together.
Place this on top of the one inch base, around the outside edge. Roll two more pieces of dough into ropes and place them on top, crossing them in the middle, curling the
ends. If you have any other pieces of dough left, you can fill in any areas by rolling the
dough into a short rope and curling the dough into a spiral, placing where desired.
Dough before final rise; andreasereda.com
9. Again cover in parchment paper and a warm damp tea towel and allow to rise again
until double in bulk BUT do not let it rise too much or you will lose the detail of your
beautiful designs. If you are proofing in an oven with a bread proofing setting, this
took 20 minutes, for your reference.
10. Prepare the other section of unused dough in a similar way. Set aside to rise.
11. Preheat oven to 400 degrees or 375 for convection ovens.
12. Once done rising, brush the top of your loaves with aquafaba.
13. Bake the loaves for 15 minutes at 400 degrees (375 for convection), then reduce
heat to 350 degrees (325 for convection) and continue to bake for 45 more
minutes or until done. Watch the loaves carefully. If they get too brown, cover them
with aluminum foil. Remove the loaves from the pans and allow them to cool. Enjoy!
** Scalding milk: While this was generally thought to be done to eliminate bacteria before all milk was pasteurized, it is also thought that scalding milk makes yeast breads lighter and sponge cakes springier.
How to scald the milk: place the soy milk into a small saucepan and warm on medium -high heat. Watch with milk. Once you start to see small bubbles forming and steam coming from the milk, remove from the heat. We do not want to boil the milk. Allow to cool to a luke warm temperature. Once luke warm, add it to the recipe!
Easter bread devoured by my four kids in about 10 minutes!