When I took on a strict dairy-free diet, I was amazed by the number of breads that contained milk ingredients. From whey to caseinates to nonfat milk in all its foresaken glory, milk was certainly present in portions of the bakery that I had not anticipated. Yet this is really what initiated my true love for baking. My first mission became that loaf of bread. I trialed many French bread recipes, but was elated to come across a good whole wheat bread recipe that I could use for everything from sandwich bread to a hearty slice of toast. Really, there is nothing better than making a loaf of bread from scratch (kneading dough is a great way to get out some aggression!). It’s rewarding and tastes so much more wonderful than store bought.
I usually use a smaller, 8×5 loaf pan, and I prefer the results. This is a very versatile recipe. For sweeter bread, swap almond or rice milk for the soymilk. Also, may add raisins, dried blueberries, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, 7 grain, or possibly savory bits such as sun-dried tomatoes.
Note: Some brands of rice and nut milks do contain soy lecithin. If you are interested in utilizing a completely soy free milk alternative, try brands such as Pacific Foods Almond Milk.
Special Diet Notes: Whole Wheat Bread
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast, or one packet
- ½ cup warm water
- ¾ cup tepid plain or unsweetened soymilk, almond milk, oat milk, or rice milk
- 2 tablespoons honey (may substitute maple syrup or light molasses for vegan)
- 2 tablespoons cup light olive oil plus extra for greasing
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
- ¼ cup flaxseeds (ground or whole) or 7-grain mix
- 1 ¾ -2 cups whole wheat flour (plus extra as needed)
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the soymilk, honey or maple syrup, oil, salt, and 2 cups of the whole-wheat flour. Mix until creamy.
- Add in the yeast mixture and remaining 1 cup of whole wheat flour, and mix until creamy. Stir in the flaxseeds and/or 7 grain blend.
- Add the whole wheat bread flour ½ cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the bowl sides. Knead, and continue adding bread flour 1 Tablespoon at a time if the dough sticks, until smooth but slightly sticky when pressed, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled deep bowl and turn the dough once to coat it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1-1 ½ hours.
- Lightly grease one 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured pat into a long rectangle. Fold like a letter, overlapping the short sides in the middle; press to flatten. Beginning at a narrow end, tightly roll up the dough into a thick log. Roll the log back and forth with your palms until it is the same length as the pan. Pinch the ends and the long seam to seal. Place the loaf seam side down, in a prepared pan, tucking the end under to make a neat, snug fit. Cover loosely with greased plastic and let rise until about 1 inch above the rim of each pan, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350. Bake until golden brown, and it pulls away from the pan sides, 35 – 40 minutes. Turn out onto racks and let cool completely.