Being a vegan doesn’t mean eating only vegetables. In fact, the vegan philosophy is openly against cruelty to animals and their exploitation. That explains why vegans don’t eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy, or honey. However, the industry today adds so many different ingredients to its products that many vegans want to know if the food they buy is free of animal ingredients. “Is bread vegan, for example, is one of the questions I hear most often.
The subject does not cease to have its crumb, because if you go over its basic ingredients, bread is just flour, water, salt, and yeast. In that order of things, bread is vegan. The problem starts with the things that are added to it. I say this because I see the bread that has eggs, butter, milk, buttermilk, casein, jelly, royal jelly or honey, all of which are of animal origin.
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Of course, the lists of ingredients that come in the packaging of branded bread let you know if the one we buy is vegan or not. However, the ones you buy from traditional bakeries don’t usually carry labels, so you can’t find out about their ingredients, so it’s important to always go to reliable bakeries, where the bread they sell carry only what they say they do!
Having said that, even the ingredients that the labels on branded bread that we believe to be vegan are not always free from guilt. These are two suspicious ingredients:
- Mono and diglycerides. Mono and diglycerides. These are fats that are used as emulsifiers to make bread fluffy and improve their texture. They are usually derived from soy, but can also come from animal fats.
- Lecithin: It is another emulsifier that is almost always derived from soybeans, although it also comes from egg yolks.
To be absolutely sure that the bread you eat is vegan, nothing like making it yourself at home. These ideas can help you prepare different pieces of bread, to suit the consumer:
- You can replace eggs with chia seeds or oat flakes: for each egg, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds or 1 tablespoon of oat flakes. Mix the chosen spoonful with a little warm water until it acquires the consistency of gelatine.
- Instead of butter, you can use AOVE.
- Instead of cow’s milk, you can use almond milk.
- If you want to make a sweet bread, you can use maple syrup.
Just add the above ingredients to the bread dough (in the same amounts as in the traditional recipe), to get the vegan bread you want.