Vegan Monday: Adventures in Lemon Poppyseed Bread

Looks pretty good, so far...

You may notice that I dropped the "raw" from the vegan post title this week. This was intentional, since I fully intended to branch out into vegan bakery. I found a base recipe and of course, altered it to use up more of the almond "pulp" as I like to call it, my homemade by-product of almond milk making. My end result was less than stellar I must say, but for a little sweet something for just myself, I'm reasonably happy.

Well, maybe more than reasonably happy, since two of my most favorite flavors are lemon and almond. So many recipes for poppyseed anything contain only lemon, which is fine, but I absolutely crave almond extract - the King of All Extracts in my book. True to my assumptions, the base recipe, one from Robin Robertson's Vegan Planet, uses the zest and juice of a whole lemon. I stayed fairly faithful to her recipe, but accidentally forgot to add the 2 tablespoons of oil, and added in 1/2 c. of my almond pulp. I had high hopes when I tasted the batter; it was perfectly lemony and suspiciously like a traditional quick bread. I just knew that adding my almond extract glaze (which I could practically mainline, mind you) would make it perfect. I baked it for 60 minutes, let it cool in the pan for ten, then waited patiently until it was completely cool to cut into it:

Dense, gummy, and appears to be overworked, not good characteristics for a quick bread. I tasted it. Hmmmm. It was actually pretty good! Especially after I added a little glaze of confectioner's sugar, almond extract and almond milk... it actually improved it so much that I even considered writing down the recipe here for non-discerning and non-judgmental vegan bakers... but I think I better try again and work towards perfection.

Vegan bakery does have the guilt-free aspect working for it. While the recipe does use white flour, it only had 1/2 cup of sugar, half the amount of most traditional quick bread recipes, and no eggs or butter to clog up my arteries. Gummy or not, I wrapped my sad loaf in foil, and tucked it into the fridge for eating alongside my coffee for the rest of the week.

It is always a little sad when something turns out less than your expectations of it, but it becomes almost a blessing to still be able to consume it! It also serves to knock me down a few notches in my experimentation modes, since sometimes, I feel like I could add flour to water and produce something so amazing that no one would suspect otherwise. Egotism has no place in the the kitchen and Venerable Kitchen Wisdom does usually know what is best for you. Lessons can be learned in everything, provided my eyes are open wide enough to see them.

Getting to know Veganism in all it's forms is really fun for me, and a little flop here or there isn't going to deter me! We'll see what happens for next week, Raw Vegan or just plain Vegan Monday will be around to challenge me a little bit longer. I MUST find another use for almond pulp! I refuse to believe that I can't make it into something delicious and worthwhile! Any ideas? Be sure to send them my way...