Vegan under lockdown facing a short term future of ingredient substitutions


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It's too late for most of my yeast. It's frozen. But, I've been using the frozen fresh yeast for a while and it appears to be working.

I left one block of it in the fridge, not frozen, and will try to see how using it compares to the frozen yeast.

The bread that I cooked yesterday and forgot, so it rose much more than I intended has actually turned out better than other bread I have cooked. Particularly in terms of its day after baking texture. I'm going to try and make some bread which I rise outside the oven to see what happens. If it does nothing, then I can give up and use the artificial heat in the oven. (My combo microwave has dough and yogurt proof settings.)

I'm trying different things, so I also want to try the French/crusty bread thing where you put some water in the oven to create steam.

With the drinks I tried using some of my naturally brewed fizzy water to make some cream soda by adding some lemon juice and vanilla essence. I had no idea how much to use, but it tasted nice. Now I wish I had measured so I could have reproduced it.

I made some yogurt last night from frozen yogurt starter (commercial plain yogurt.) It appears to have turned out OK, but it is rather mild. The yogurt went yellow when I froze it, and the resulting fresh yogurt also has a yellowish hue.
 
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Yes my grocer used to tell me to use it within 3 weeks or toss it. I will have to keep checking back with this company to see if I can get some fresh yeast when they get a new shipment. The odd thing is fresh yeast is only available in the US a few months out of the year. I don’t know why that is. Thanks for the link!
The wholesalers all carry it, the retailers don't usually see much demand.
I can't find hi gluten flour or cake flour either. This situation existed before the virus came along.
 
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The wholesalers all carry it, the retailers don't usually see much demand.
I can't find hi gluten flour or cake flour either. This situation existed before the virus came along.
I've read that mixing some cornstarch with all purpose flour is a substitute for cake flour. I'd like to buy some Waitrose sponge flour (attached). But, my nearest Waitrose is about 15km away and I don't drive. That's a nice bicycle ride though :) The Waitrose sponge flour is self-raising.

I'd say that the biggest problem with vegan cakes is to be able to produce a white cake with a nice texture. They tend to come out heavy and with a coarse texture. I'm going to make one tonight trying to use the cornstarch/all purpose flour mix as a replacement for cake flour.

One of my recipes is a white cake/chocolate cake pair. They're identical except that the chocolate one has 1/5 of the flour replaced by cocoa powder. The texture is so much better. I tried using 1/5 gram flour instead of cocoa, to try and get a white cake with the texture of the chocolate cake, but it didn't work.

I've been making entirely suitable bread with all-purpose flour by adding some wheat gluten. I bought the wheat gluten for another cooking project some time ago, and never used it. So, I started using it for bread making to use it up. But, I now like the idea of just having all-purpose flour and adding wheat gluten when I want stronger flour. Though, most of my flour in my pantry right now is bread flour - simply because that's what I've been able to buy recently.
 

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The wholesalers all carry it, the retailers don't usually see much demand.
I can't find hi gluten flour or cake flour either. This situation existed before the virus came along.
I don’t know why you can’t get hi gluten, that’s odd. But cake flour is not available in the UK (or all of the European Union actually) as they banned all bleached flours. Canada, Australia and a few other countries banned bleached flours as well. I think it’s a over reaction. Flour bleaches naturally on its own as it ages. But mills don’t want to wait since time is money as they say. So they speed up the process by exposing the flour to benzoyl peroxide or chlorine gas. The flour isn’t mixed with any actual chemicals. But some people believed it posed a health risk. But I don’t know, looking at human biology, and what chlorine and the chemical reactions, it does not seem to be the case.

I just sent a bundt pan to a friend in the UK (Lee_C, he’s on this forum). I tossed in a box of cake flour because I know he cannot buy it there.
 
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It's too late for most of my yeast. It's frozen. But, I've been using the frozen fresh yeast for a while and it appears to be working.

I left one block of it in the fridge, not frozen, and will try to see how using it compares to the frozen yeast.

The bread that I cooked yesterday and forgot, so it rose much more than I intended has actually turned out better than other bread I have cooked. Particularly in terms of its day after baking texture. I'm going to try and make some bread which I rise outside the oven to see what happens. If it does nothing, then I can give up and use the artificial heat in the oven. (My combo microwave has dough and yogurt proof settings.)

I'm trying different things, so I also want to try the French/crusty bread thing where you put some water in the oven to create steam.

With the drinks I tried using some of my naturally brewed fizzy water to make some cream soda by adding some lemon juice and vanilla essence. I had no idea how much to use, but it tasted nice. Now I wish I had measured so I could have reproduced it.

I made some yogurt last night from frozen yogurt starter (commercial plain yogurt.) It appears to have turned out OK, but it is rather mild. The yogurt went yellow when I froze it, and the resulting fresh yogurt also has a yellowish hue.
My SIL and a friend recently bought instant pots. They are going crazy with them. Both made yogurt. Last thing I need is another kitchen appliance, but the way they go about about this instant pot, I am really tempted to buy one.




Jack has a lot of great videos. If you scroll down to the bottom there is a video on knowing when to bake bread. Jack is based in the UK, so anything you bake based on his videos should work out well. His video on kneading is excellent for its NO FLOUR! I baked for years and was kneading all wrong. I was in a commercial kitchen and this baker stopped me. He said let me show you how to knead. First, stop with the flour, you are screwing up your baker’s percentages. Second, stop working yourself to death, it really is a simple. Fold, roll, turn, press, and repeat.

All that flour baker’s thrown on the counter makes the dough tough and increases the flour content in the dough, throwing the hydration and other ratios off.

 
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I don’t know why you can’t get hi gluten, that’s odd. But cake flour is not available in the UK (or all of the European Union actually) as they banned all bleached flours. Canada, Australia and a few other countries banned bleached flours as well. I think it’s a over reaction. Flour bleaches naturally on its own as it ages. But mills don’t want to wait since time is money as they say. So they speed up the process by exposing the flour to benzoyl peroxide or chlorine gas. The flour isn’t mixed with any actual chemicals. But some people believed it posed a health risk. But I don’t know, looking at human biology, and what chlorine and the chemical reactions, it does not seem to be the case.

I just sent a bundt pan to a friend in the UK (Lee_C, he’s on this forum). I tossed in a box of cake flour because I know he cannot buy it there.
Its just bromide gas, yes flour produces its own gas and silos have to be chemically treated by law anyway.

They can always try pastry flour, its a weak grade, unbleached but pretty much should be the same as cake.
Natually up here in North Maine I can't get that either.
I'll have to amazon everything when life gets normal again.
 
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