Raisin Bread (raw, vegan, gluten-free)
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Warm raisin bread right out of the dehydrator, is there much better than that? I remember back to when I first started eating a plant-based diet. I went 100% raw over night.
Each day that had passed I read and read and read, gathering as much information as I could about it. I started with just eating all fresh produce and some nuts. It wasn’t until I was at least 4-6 months into it that I got my first dehydrator. I remember telling my husband that I really missed one aspect of cooking and that was the comforting aromas that would swirl around the house when I cooked.
Without a dehydrator a person really doesn’t get to experience that sensation, well that is if you totally stop cooking. BUT after I got the dehydrator and taught myself how to make crackers / breads and to also use it as a warming tool, my house was soon again filled with wonderful smells of comforting foods. This recipe for the raisin bread had my nose dancing all day.
I want to quickly touch base on a few ingredients that I commonly use in raw bread and cake recipes.
Every batch of pulp will differ in moisture. This all depends on how much of the milk you are able to squeeze from the nut bag. Therefore, you may need to adjust the amount liquids being used in recipes calling for nut pulp. If it is really dry feeling, more moisture may need to be added. Or if the pulp is really wet, less moisture would probably be necessary.
It is also best to make sure that the pulp is unflavored and that is a step that has to be taken when first making almond milk. There is a link below that you can click on to learn more about this process if you are unfamiliar with it. BUT should your pulp already have small hints of sweetness to it, not to worry… I doubt it would be enough to effect the outcome of this recipe. I don’t recommend any substitutions for the almond pulp. It is the key ingredient that helped me to create a light and airy batter.
Irish Moss Gel or Kelp Paste
It is a must that I touch basis on this ingredient because it pops up every so often. The main question, “Do I have to use it? or What can I use instead?” Anything is possible when it comes to subbing out ingredients. But I spend a lot of time developing recipes that have great flavor, texture and appearance. Since many people have a hard time finding Irish moss (unless mail ordered), I came up with the idea of creating a paste from raw kelp noodles. I can now happily report that both worked perfectly. The purpose behind these pastes/gels is to give some added nutrition but as equally important… the bread-like texture. If you are dead-set against using these ingredients, my next go-to would be a few tablespoons of psyllium husks. Have fun experimenting but I highly recommend making the recipe that I designed first.
- In a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, combine the oat flour, flax , coconut flour, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse till mixed.
- Add almond pulp, Irish moss, yacon syrup, date paste, and lemon juice. Blend till everything is well incorporated.
- Depending on how moist your almond pulp is, you may need to add water so the dough sticks together nicely. Add 1 Tbsp at a time until the right consistency is reach.
- Instead of yacon syrup, you can use; raw agave, raw coconut nectar, or raw honey.
- Pulse the raisins in or mix in by hand.
- Remove the batter and shape into the desired size. Score the top with a knife. I later use this score marks as a guide in slicing my pieces.
- Place the bread loaf on the mesh sheet that comes with the dehydrator and dehydrate at 145 degrees for 1 hour. This will create a crust on the outside. Click (here) to learn why I do this.
- After 1 hour, remove from the dehydrator and cut the bread slices to a desired thickness. I did mine at about 1″.
- Return to the mesh sheet laying the pieces flat.
- Decrease the temperature to 115 degrees (F) and continue to dehydrate for 4+ hours.
- As an indicator if it is dry enough, touch the center of the bread slices. You don’t want it to be doughy but you also don’t want the bread to dry out too much.
- The dry time can be effected by the thickness of the bread, the humidity in the climate in which you live, and the make of the dehydrator.
- Shelf life and storage: Store the bread in an air-tight container, in the fridge, for 3-5 days.
- The more moisture that is left in your bread, the shorter the shelf life. Therefore, shelf life will vary with your drying technique.
- Whenever I make this bread, it never lasts very long enough to spoil.
- Keep in mind, the whole purpose of eating a raw diet is to eat foods at their peek of freshness, so don’t expect this bread to have a long expiration date.
- This bread also freezes very well. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer Zip-lock bag. If well protected it should keep for up to 3 months.
The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™
- To learn more about maple syrup by clicking (here).
- Click (here) for my thoughts on raw agave nectar.
- To learn more about Yacon syrup by clicking (here).
- Learn about the wonderful characteristics of Raw Coconut Nectar (here).
- Dates are an amazing ingredient for raw food recipes, click (here) to read why.
- Why do I specify Ceylon cinnamon? Click (here) to learn why.
- What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter? Click (here) to read more about it.
- Are oats gluten-free? Yes, read more about that (here).
- Are oats raw? Yes, they can be found. Click (here) to learn more.
- Do I need to soak and dehydrate oats? Not required but recommended. Click (here) to see why.
- Learn how to grind you own flax-seeds for ultimate freshness and nutrition. Click (here).
- Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F). Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
- When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe. Learn why (here).
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.
Topped with my Raw Strawberry Date Jam