Veganism is a way of life that focuses on avoiding all forms of animal products. Vegans do not eat animal/derived foods or use any lifestyle products that are derived by causing harm to animals in some way.
It is not that easy to figure out if the foods we eat contain non-vegan ingredients. Many people have confusion about the nature of certain foods like bread.
Is bread vegan? Let us find out in this article.
Are All Types Of Bread Vegan?
Traditional bread recipe has just four ingredients; flour, water, salt and yeast. As all of these ingredients are vegan, we can conclude that the simplest form of bread is vegan.
However, not all types of bread are made with these ingredients alone. Some types may include additional ingredients that might be derived from animal sources. These types cannot be regarded as vegan. Consider for example, the recipes that have eggs, butter and honey added to improve the texture and flavor of the bread. They are not vegan.
How Can You Find If A Bread Is Vegan?
It is usually quite easy to tell apart vegan and non-vegan bread. All you have to do is check the list of ingredients used to make the bread. Bread that contain ingredients like eggs, gelatin, royal jelly, honey and dairy-based ingredients like butter, milk, buttermilk, whey or casein are not considered vegan.
There are some ingredients that are usually vegan but they may not have that nature in all cases. They include:
- Lecithin: It is an emulsifier that is usually derived from soybeans. But egg yolks can also be used as a source of lecithin.
- Mono and diglycerides: They are used as emulsifiers that improve the texture of bread and retain moisture in it. They are usually derived from soybean oil but they could also be sourced from animal fats making bread containing them nonvegan.
If you check the product label and see the aforementioned ingredients listed on it, you cannot decide if they were derived from plant sources or animal sources. If you require your bread to be vegan, it is advisable to look for types that do not contain lecithin and mono and diglycerides. However, if the bread is certified vegan, you can confidently go ahead with buying it.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Vegan Bread?
Here are some breads that are commonly vegan.
- Pita: It is a flatbread that is made of flour, yeast, water and salt. It is usually vegan but some varieties may contain eggs, milk and honey added for flavor.
- Sourdough: It is a type of fermented bread that is made making use of ingredients like flour, water, yeast and salt. Although it isn’t that common, some varieties may use milk in place of water, making them non-vegan.
- Baguette: It is a popular French bread that is long and thin. It has a crispy crust.
- Ezekiel: It is a type of bread that is made from legumes and sprouted whole grains. This type of bread is mostly vegan and is also known to be rich in protein and other nutrients.
- Focaccia: It is an Italian flatbread baked in a flat pan and topped with a source of fat and herbs. Recipes that use olive oil as the fat source are vegan while those that use butter or eggs as fat source are non-vegan.
- Ciabatta: It is a flat, elongated bread that has a hard crust and airy crumb.
Lesser processing of the bread increases the chances of it being vegan. Usually flat or dry types are vegan while the fluffier varieties may contain dairy or eggs that make them non-vegan.
How To Add The Perfect Vegan Substitutes To Non-Vegan Ingredients In A Bread Recipe?
One of the simplest ways to ensure that a type of bread is vegan is to make it on your own.
The simplest bread recipes usually tend to be vegan but you can also make the complicated non-vegan bread recipes vegan by adding in the perfect vegan substitutes to non-vegan ingredients.
Egg that is used in some bread recipes can be replaced with chia or flax seeds. To do that mix 15 mg chia seeds or ground flax seeds with 45 mL of warm water and let the mixture sit until it attains a jelly-like consistency. You can then add that to the batter like you add the egg.
Aquafaba is a vegan substitute to egg whites. It is the viscous liquid left over after cooking legumes. Chickpea aquafaba is quite common in many recipes.
45 ml of aquafaba would be enough to substitute 1 whole egg while 30 ml aquafaba would be enough to substitute one egg white.
Plant oils like coconut oil and olive oil are perfect substitutes for butter in bread recipes while maple syrup can be used to replace honey.
There are many bread varieties that are naturally vegan but all varieties aren’t vegan. To ensure the vegan nature of bread, you need to check the list of ingredients thoroughly.