Yorkshire Pudding Attempts

My Twitter follower @SaraLJohnson75 suggested another recipe and I accepted the challenge. She requested a classic British dish, Yorkshire Pudding. I tried other lovely British foods before I became a vegan, but never had the pleasure of Yorkshire pudding. So, I must admit I am at a slight disadvantage. After some consultation and research online, I got a pretty good idea of what they should taste like: savory, a little flaky and very rich.

I found a great traditional Yorkshire Pudding recipe on About.com (it even has a video) that I based mine on. In this recipe, the eggs are for binding, leavening and flavoring so I wasn’t sure what type of replacer was best (most have a hard time doing all three). The vegan recipes I found said they had trouble getting theirs to rise properly so they had used a lot of powdered egg replacer (usually made from starches) such as Ener-G Egg. However, this alters the texture a lot so I decided to try something different.

I came up with two recipes and made a small batch of each. The first uses ground flax seed as an egg replacer and the second uses yeast. I must confess neither one rises significantly, and although still pretty delicious, are not quite right.

I ground the flax seed myself in a grinder.

I had the highest hopes for the flax seed version because they are a good binder and have a rich flavor when cooked. These ones had an egg-like flavor, but they were flat. For some reason the pictures wouldn’t upload from my camera, but imagine little 1/4  inch brownish hockey pucks.

I worried the yeast ones would come out too spongy or puffy so  I made them second. They are definitely fluffier than the flax seed batch, but still aren’t the right density. I thought about combining the two recipes, to even out the texture and flavor, but I ran out of yeast. This a hard recipe to convert since it is so heavily dependent on the unique properties of eggs.

As a vegan, you learn quickly sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders and say “oh well.” Another question I encounter often is, “Doesn’t it suck that you can’t have ____?” And I tell them that I don’t think of it that way. Veganism is a life-style change, not a diet. I chose to change my life because I wanted something better.  Yes a rich pudding would be lovely to eat everyday, but it leads to an unhealthy and unhappy lifestyle that I do not desire. I choose life over food is what I am essentially saying. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t get to eat good food (hence the whole point of this blog), it just means I choose different (and better) things to cook with.

Anyways, these are still good—especially with some nice steamed veggies and a nice mushroom gravy (they soak it right up, gives them a yummy, gooey middle).  Try them both, and please let me know if you have a better recipe! 

Yorkshire Pudding with Flax Seed

It doesn’t look like the traditional batter, but tastes more egg-like

1 tbs ground flax seed
1/2 cup water
1/2 unsweetened soy milk
1/ cup self-rising flour
1/8 tps baking powder

Dissolve the ground flax seed into the water. Microwave or heat over the stove until slightly bubbly and thickens into a syrupy consistency.

Add soy milk and mix well.

Add flour and mix until smooth.

Set aside in a cool place for at least 30 minutes.

Yorkshire Pudding with Yeast

Looks and bakes more like the traditional batter.

1 packet active yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 pinches of sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
3/4 cup flour

Proof the yeast by dissolving it in the warm water and add the sugar. Set aside for about 10 minutes, until it becomes frothy.

Then add soy milk and mix well.

Add flour and mix until smooth.

I let mine rise for only 10 minutes because I didn’t want them to puff up too much and be spongy. Both of the Brits I consulted said they should be more like crepes, not like bread. I suggest only leaving them a little bit longer, maybe 20 minutes or so.

Follow these baking instructions for both batters:

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Oil a cupcake or muffin tin well and place in the oven until the oil starts to smoke a little bit. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn and ruin your tin.

Remove the pan from the oven and fill each cup 1/2 of the way with batter.  I filled only 1/3 of the way because I expected them to rise more, so if you are using my exact recipe, I suggest filling them more.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.

I will attempt Yorkshire Pudding again in the future, but I am happy with what I came up with for now. Hope you like them too!

Belgian Waffles (Or Pancakes)

I am up to the challenge of veganizing recipes. One of my twitter followers @SaraLJohnson75 requested a Belgium waffle recipe. I had to make pancakes because I don’t have a waffle iron. This batter should crisp up perfectly into lovely waffles.

I did some research, and came across a few vegan ones but none were like the original recipe. They called for coconut milk or bananas, which do make great batters but alter the taste significantly. Also, none of them called for yeast, which is key for the flavor and fluffy texture. So I decided to follow a traditional Belgian Waffle recipe I found on All Recipes but substitute in vegan ingredients.

Flax seed in hot water is the substitute for eggs.  It acts as both a binder and a leavener. 

Belgian Waffles (Or Pancakes)
1 packet active yeast
1/2 cup warm (around 105 degrees F) sweetened soy milk
1/2 cup hot water
1 and 1/2 tbs flax seed
1/2 cup melted vegan butter 
1/4 cup brown sugar 
1/4 tps salt 
1 tps vanilla extract 
1 cup all purpose flour 

The water should be HOT to touch

Place the flax seeds into the hot water and let them sit for 10 minutes. It will make a slightly syrupy liquid. If you don’t want seeds in your waffles or pancakes, you can strain them out. But I left them in because I don’t mind. Alternatively, you can grind the flax seeds into a powder first then add it to the hot water. 

Dissolve the packet of yeast into the warm soy milk. The milk needs to be sweetened so the yeast has something to eat.  Set aside to proof for 10 minutes as well. It will be creamy and frothy when it’s ready.

In a large bowl, whisk together the vegan butter, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Add the flax seed mixture and mix well. Then add the yeast and mix well. 

Mix gently

Add a half cup of flour at a time, mixing well before adding the next. 

Risen for an hour and double in size

Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for an hour. It should double in volume. 

“The first crepe is for the dog,” so don’t worry if the first one isn’t pretty.

For Pancakes,  spray a pan with cooking spray and heat over low heat. 

Pour 1/2 cup batter in the pan, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

This recipe should yield about 5 to 6 medium pancakes.

For waffles,  follow the recommended amount and directions for your iron. 

I topped mine with strawberries and maple syrup. They are very rich already so I skipped butter. 

Someone please tell me how these come out as waffles,  I bet they are even better! 

Hope these work for you @SaraLJohnson75!