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Vegan Whole Grain Sandwich Bread

Learn step-by-step how to make this Vegan Whole Grain Spelt Sandwich bread. It is just 5 ingredients, oil-free, healthy and so fresh and delicious!
Prep Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Author Brandi Doming

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups 480 g + more for dusting whole grain spelt flour, do not use sprouted, I used Arrowhead Mills (highly suggest a scale for best results!)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons 5 g instant rapid rise yeast (I used Fleischmann's)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons 27 g fresh squeezed orange juice (or apple juice, don't recommend lemon)
  • 1 cup 250 ml warm filtered water or sub half with plant milk for a richer flavor (microwaved for 30 secs was perfect for me, you don't want hot water!)
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons 44 g unsweetened applesauce
  • Note: Keep in mind this is 100% whole grain flour it does not have the same taste as white bread, it is much more earthy, which I love, but if you've never tried spelt, keep that in mind. Bread making can go great or it can go horribly. Trust me, I've been on both sides. Every single flour performs differently, and spelt performs differently than wheat flour. I have written this recipe based on spelt flour only, therefore I cannot vouch for any results if you change the recipe, I wouldn't recommend it. Stick to the recipe for best results and no, subbing for gluten-free flours will not work in this recipe.

Instructions

  1. For bread success, use a scale! Read through my post and follow the pics for reference and follow these directions. It's SO EASY, but I've written very detailed instructions to help you. You'll need a 9x5 metal loaf pan for this. Other materials bake up differently, so use metal, the loaf will bake up the best that way.
  2. Get a very large bowl with tall sides to allow for rising. Add your spelt flour, instant yeast, salt and give it a good whisk to ensure it's evenly mixed.
  3. Add your juice (1 1/2 tbsp) and water (1 cup) to a glass and warm up for 30 seconds in the microwave. Stick your finger in it, it should feel warm, but not so hot that you can't keep your finger in there. Too hot of water will kill the yeast. Add the syrup and applesauce to the water and stir.
  4. Pour over the flour slowly as you are stirring the dough. Use a sturdy rubber or silicone spatula/spoon, as this will help it not stick to the utensil. Stir and press the dough using the spatula until all the flour has is mixed in, a couple of minutes. Knead a bit inside the bowl with your hands. If it it too sticky to handle, sprinkle another tablespoon of flour or so and flip the dough over and knead a bit more, using the spatula/spoon to assist. Add only a tiny bit as needed for it to come together, too much flour and you'll end up with dry bread. If for some reason after continually mixing it seems too dry and is not becoming cohesive, add just a tiny bit of water, starting with a teaspoon just so it comes together. Do this for about 5 minutes, no more. It should become elastic/stretchy and slightly sticky. Test it by pressing down and dragging the spatula/spoon. If it stretches and then gently falls back into position, stretchy like a rubber band, stop. Don't over-knead spelt or it'll make tough bread.
  5. Spray a large piece of plastic wrap with nonstick spray (to prevent the dough sticking as it rises to the wrap) and place the sprayed side down over the bowl. Secure it well. Use 2 pieces if necessary. Let the dough rise in a warm (non-drafty) place until it has basically doubled (see pics), 45 mins to an hour. I highly recommend the oven with just the light turned on. It has consistently given me accurate results. Mine took a full hour, but use your eyes as well, not just a timer. It should be risen and puffed up. Yours may even take a little longer, just roughly it should be about twice the size. But don't forget about it, as over-rising can cause a deflated loaf!
  6. Sprinkle a small bit of flour onto a clean work surface large enough for the dough (I used my granite countertops). Before you scrape the dough out, punch the dough all over to let the gas escape, this is important, otherwise your bread can deflate in the oven. If it is still a bit sticky, just use your silicone spatula to punch it a bit. Scrape your dough out of the bowl and plop it onto the floured work surface. It will be slightly sticking to the bowl (this is normal) so I found use that silicone spatula and it will be very easy to scrape out. Only knead and turn it over a few times, it doesn't really much more kneading at this point. Add a tiny bit of flour if needed to the top to get it going. The dough should be easy to handle now (and not sticky like when you first mixed it). Form a loaf shape. Tuck in and fold the dough over the sides and flip it over, seam side down. Now grab your loaf pan and spray it well with nonstick spray, don't forget the sides. Place the dough seam side down into the greased loaf pan. Again, place a sprayed large piece of plastic wrap over the pan and secure it, but not too tight, as the dough will eventually touch the plastic.
  7. Set back in the oven with the light on to rise again to about 1 1/2 inches above the pan, from the center peak, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or so. Mine took around 45 minutes. Again, keep checking and don't forget. As soon as it is about 1 1/2 inches, remove from the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees. Peel the plastic off carefully, being gentle as to not mess with the rise.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until it's golden brown on top and when you thump the top it sounds hollow. Trust me, you will know if it sounds hollow. I removed mine at 28 minutes, but yours may be done at 25. Otherwise test it with an instant read thermometer and it should be between 200-210 degrees.
  9. Important, let the bread sit in the pan for only 10 minutes. This will settle it a bit, but the bread is still cooking and all the heat and steam will need to escape so the inside doesn't get gummy, so as soon as the 10 mins are up, carefully flip out your bread onto a cooling rack to cool for 1 1/2 hours. No choice, you must wait so the bread will finish cooking! The loaf should slide right out if you greased your pan well, but if it is a little snug, loosen the edges gently with a butter knife and flip it out.
  10. After it has completely cooled, use a serrated bread knife. If you try and just use a sharp smooth knife, it's not going to cut well and it will squish down your bread. Use a bread knife and cut thin sandwich slices going back and forth in a sawing motion. Eat soft as is with a sandwich, or my favorite, toast it up and have avocado toast or almond butter. So amazing toasted! As soon as it's cooled, wrap it up to prevent drying. Wrap it tightly a couple of times with saran wrap and then place it in a ziplock bag and store at room temp, not the fridge. It will be good for a few days. Keep in mind homemade bread dries out and goes stale SO much faster than commercial, because there is no dough conditioners or preservatives. Otherwise, if you want to freeze some, slice all your slices and then wrap tightly and seal and freeze. Remove and thaw or put straight into the toaster.
  11. See notes below.

Recipe Notes

Total prep time is about 2 hours and 30 minutes, most of that is not hands-on time, but rise time. There is very little actual hands-on.
Cook time is 25-30 minutes.
Troubleshooting: Now, if this is your first time ever making homemade bread with yeast, it may take you a couple of tries to figure out the kneading part, but I shared photos to try to help as best I could. The bread should turn out like the photos if you followed it precisely, but some variations can happen due to different environments or kneading issues. If your bread comes out perfect, great! If it is a tad on the dry side, cook it a few minutes shorter the next time or add just a tiny bit extra water when mixing the dough. If it is a tad under-cooked or gummy in the center, then increase the baking time by just a few minutes. Your bread should slice well and hold together perfectly, but if it is not, then you likely didn't need it long enough to make it elastic enough. It's important to knead it so it's smooth and appears a bit stretchy when pressing/dragging a spoon across the dough. Let me know of any questions you have!