Nothing is quite as nice as bread straight out of the oven…and this Vegan Cheese Tear ‘n’ Share Loaf is fabulous. Like all yeast bread it takes some time as the loaf needs to rise twice, but the cooking time is short so its just about planning your time.
Let’s talk cheese for a minute. There is a lot of pretty good vegan cheese out there – we’re still waiting for the holy grail of vegan cheese that has the same texture and taste as dairy cheese, but there has been a lot of developments over the last few years with more to come. However, there is no getting away from the fact that vegan cheese has a high water content – especially if its a ‘melty’ type. So you can’t add vegan cheddar or mozzarella to bread as it adds too much moisture. You’ll end up with small bricks…its very irritating – trust me on this. So use a nice hard cheese like Vegan Parmesan. I used Violife Parmesan as I think it has a great taste and works perfectly in our Vegan Cheese Tear ‘n’ Share Bread.
I haven’t added a lot of cheese to the recipe, because I’m not convinced the bread would rise with a lot of cheese in it. So this bread has a nice tangy taste, with the melting mozzarella on top. Over time, I’ll play around to find out how much cheese the dough can take but for now I’m settling on this recipe. It tears beautifully, taste great, and is a very pretty ring of bread to pop on the table.
Let’s also discuss yeast. Yeast is alive, so it can die too. If you’ve a cannister of yeast then you need to keep it in the refrigerator once open otherwise it will die off and you will wonder why nothing is happening when you add it to warm water or milk. Also don’t get fooled by being told to add yeast to warm water or milk – its not warm really, rather just a bit tepid or not cold. If it’s too hot then you’ll kill the yeast. Take real care when heating non-dairy milk, heat it and then move it to a cold bowl and check the temperature again. Then add your yeast – it should foam up nicely in between 5-10 minutes. Sugar helps to activate the yeast, so that’s why recipes call for it.
Let’s talk proving next. Again don’t be tempted to warm up the oven and pop the dough in a warm oven. It can kill the rise – again a painful lesson I’ve learnt. When recipes call for ‘warm’ they really mean not in a draft or actively cold kitchen. I pop the bowl in the airing cupboard. Below are two photo’s one before the first rise, and the second after. It gives you a good idea of the size change. After the first rise when you poke the dough the dent will stay. After the second rise the dough should bounce back (a bit like a cake test). If it doesn’t bounce back then leave it to prove for another 5-10 minutes.
I cover the bowl with cling film that has a bit of olive oil on it, and then cover the bowl with a tea towel as well.
Let’s talk briefly about kneading. You can’t skip on this, and despite having a bread hook I knead by hand. Same with mixing it all together. Again, its because it seems to work best for me. When you knead, push the dough away from you so you stretch it, then fold it back, and push it away again (the the heel of your hand). It’s best to set a timer so you don’t give up early because your arm is tired.
With the right proving and kneading you should get lots of little air bubbles in your bread.
I hope you enjoy making this Vegan Cheese Tear ‘n’ Share Loaf – it really is lovely.
Vegan Cheese Tear n' Share Bread
- 360 g Bread Flour
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 3 tbsp Grated Violife Parmesan, plus 2 tbsp vegan mozzarella for the top of the bread
- 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 230 ml Non-Dairy Milk
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tsp Instant Yeast
- 2 tbsp Caster Sugar
- Sift the flour and mix it with the nutritional yeast, Violife parmesan, and salt.
- Warm the milk on the hob until just tepid add the sugar. Pour into a bowl and add the yeast. Whisk to combine and leave the mixture for 5-10 minutes until nice and frothy.
- Add the olive oil to the milk mixture and mix with the flour. Bring the dough together with your hands until you've a ball of slightly sticky dough.
- On a lightly floured surface knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth and stretchy.
- Form the dough into a ball, place in a large bowl which you've greased with olive oil, lightly grease the dough as well and put a bit of olive oil on a piece of clingfilm and over the bowl. Cover again with a tea towel and place away from a draft and allow to rise for an hour.
- After an hour the dough should have doubled in size.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut it into 8 even pieces. Roll each piece in your hands lightly to create a ball and place it in a round, greased baking dish. Add each ball in a circle. To get a nice finish I then brush with a little melted vegan margarine or olive oil. I like to use a spring form pan so the loaf can slip onto a plate easily.
- Cover again with greased cling film and a towel and allow to prove for another 30 minutes.
- After the second prove, top with the 2 tbsp of grated vegan mozzarella cheese and bake at 180°C 350°F for 20 minutes or until the rolls have an internal temperature of 195°F (I poke them with a thermometer).
- Allow to cool on a wire rack and enjoy!