No-Knead Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

Whole Wheat No-Knead BreadIn the past I’ve tended to add some wheat gluten or all-purpose flour to my wholegrain bread recipes. That’s because whole wheat flour is low on gluten and without the extra gluten muscle provided by vital wheat gluten or all-purpose or bread flour, it is not easy to produce a loaf that doesn’t taste and feel like a brick.

But I — and many readers — don’t always have wheat gluten on hand and we also don’t want the wholegrain bread to be only part wholegrain. So for a long time now I’d wanted to come up with an all whole wheat sandwich loaf that would not need any gluten nor any refined flour but would still have a light, airy structure. I have that bread for you today.

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Whole Wheat BreadYou do need one essential ingredient for my Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread: sourdough. The gases in the sourdough are really useful in giving this bread that wonderful hole structure and airiness, so it’s definitely worth the trouble of making the  starter– I explain how to in my sourdough starter post. All you need is some flour and yeast and water.

I had to revive my starter because it had been sitting, neglected, for weeks in my refrigerator. I found some pretty nice instructions on how to do this here.

This is a very sticky dough, almost like a ciabatta dough. You see, when you let a wet dough sit for a while, the water helps develop the gluten without any real work from you. And yes, I really mean very little work, because this is also a no-knead bread — or a minimum knead bread.

The bread turned out just perfect, as you can see — flavorful and not dense at all, with a great hole structure. I wanted to shape this into a sandwich loaf, so I baked it in a loaf pan but this created a big problem the first couple of times I tried this loaf. No matter how much I floured the pan or how much cornmeal I sprinkled on the greased pan, the finished loaf was difficult– almost impossible to unmold.  I tried lining the pan, first with tinfoil (not a great idea because the dough expanded into the foil’s crevices and I had to strip off tiny bits of foil from the finished loaf) and then with parchment paper, which worked much better. So the foil does work but I definitely recommend the parchment paper.

You could also just try making this a free-form loaf, like a ciabatta, if you wish.


Whole Wheat Bread Slice

No-Knead Sandwich Bread, Whole Wheat
Cook time
Total time
Recipe makes two loaves, 12 slices each. Nutrition information is for one slice.
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: Makes 2 loaves
  • 2½ cups warm water
  • 1½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 5-6 cups of whole-wheat flour (either durum or regular whole wheat works fine)
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 2 tsp salt
  1. Mix ½ cup of water and the sugar and yeast in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and set aside about 10 minutes until the yeast froths.
  2. Mix the sourdough starter into the remaining water. Add to the yeast.
  3. Add 4 cups of flour and salt and mix with a spoon or with the dough hook if you’re using a mixer.
  4. Continue adding flour, half a cup at a time, until you have a sticky and soft dough. It should have the consistency of a ciabatta dough. I needed all of the six cups on a rather moist day in my town, but you might need less if you’re working in a dryer climate.
  5. Spray a large bowl with some oil, pour the dough into the bowl, and spray some oil on top to coat and seal the dough. Cover tightly with a plastic bag or plastic wrap and set the dough in a warm place to rise for two hours.
  6. After two hours the dough should have risen all the way to the top of the bowl. Turn it out onto the kitchen platform and fold it over once or twice. You don’t need to knead it. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover again and let it rise for another two hours.
  7. Line two loaf pans with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray with some oil.
  8. Remove the dough onto the kitchen platform and divide into two. Shape each half into a loaf, making the top as smooth as you can. I do this by tucking the sides underneath. The dough is still quite sticky, so work fast or it will be hard to shape.
  9. Place each loaf in a loaf pan. Dust some flour on top of the loaves and cover loosely with a kitchen towel. Set the loaf pans in a warm place and let the loaves rise for an hour or until they begin to dome over the top of the loaf pans. Remove the kitchen towel as the dough rises over the tops, or the towel will stick and deflate the dough as you remove it.
  10. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  11. Place the loaves in the oven and bake 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake another 30 minutes.
  12. Remove the loaves to a rack and let them stand about 15 minutes or until the pans are cool enough to handle. Unmold by turning out the loaves to a rack. Let them cool, right side up.
  13. Slice and serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 116 Sugar: 0.6 grams Sodium: 195 mg Fiber: 0.9 grams Protein: 3.3 grams

whole wheat loaf

French Onion Tart, Gluten-Free

French Onion TartIt’s the weekend guys, and I don’t know about you but I feel good. Ecstatic, even, although it’s not like I’ve got anything special planned out. But how great is the very thought of two full days crammed with nothing other than endless possibilities of having fun?

And here’s one way to have that fun and eat well too — my deliciously vegan French Onion Tart with a divine gluten-free crust.

I use so many onions every day in my cooking, usually as a flavor base for other ingredients, that I forget just how much of a star this good old veggie is in its own right. Caramelized onions are deep, rich, sweet, smoky and incredibly flavorful. But wait! Did you know that onions are also super-good for you? They contain cancer-fighting compounds and have anti-inflammatory properties. Amazing.

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Onion Tartonion tartI had been wanting to post this recipe forever because it’s so good and because I love you all so much, but I needed to find the time to make it during the day so Desi could get great pictures too.  Despite sounding so ooh la la, this is quite a simple recipe and you don’t need to go shopping for any fancy ingredients (not unless you consider nutritional yeast a fancy ingredient, but it is optional). Which makes it the perfect treat for a lazy weekend, when you want to spend less time in the kitchen and more time hanging out on the couch with your sweetie (or your dog or cat or all of the above), and a bottle of wine.

The gluten-free crust is wonderful, but if you’d rather make a wheat crust that’s perfectly fine too. Just follow the instructions for the whole-wheat crust in my Coriander Quiche recipe.

So on with the tart recipe then, and weekend here I come! Why aren’t there two of you in every week?

 French Onion Tart

French Onion Tart, Gluten-free
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Makes 1 9-inch tart
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: French
Serves: 8
  • For the tart shell:
  • 1¼ cups gluten-free flour all-purpose flour (try and use something that’s gum-free. If you can’t find one, make your own with a combination of sorghum and millet)
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (should be solid. Refrigerate if needed for a few minutes if it’s liquid)
  • Ice cold water
  • For the filling:
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large onions, very thinly sliced. About 6 cups altogether.
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp cognac (optional)
  • 1 14-oz package of firm tofu, drained
  • ½ cup soymilk or other nondairy milk
  • 1 tbsp thyme, finely chopped (substitute with 1 tsp dry thyme if you can’t find fresh)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, it adds a slightly cheesy flavor which is nice)
  • 1 tsp dijon or whole grain mustard
  1. To make the tart shell, mix the flour, cornmeal, salt and black pepper in a bowl.
  2. Cut the coconut oil into the all purpose flour with a fork or a pastry cutter until you have small pieces of the fat dispersed throughout the flour.
  3. Drizzle in ice-cold water and mix with a fork until the dough comes together in a ball. Add the water slowly because you don’t want a wet dough– it should be moist enough to just hold together.
  4. Press the dough into a flat disc and wrap tightly in cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, make the filling.
  6. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions, sugar and a little salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions start to caramelize and become golden brown. This took me about 20 minutes over medium heat.
  7. When the onions are browned, stir in the thyme, then add the cognac to deglaze the pan and scrape up all the tasty brown bits stuck at the bottom. If you’d rather not use cognac, use vegetable stock or plain old water.
  8. Turn off the heat and set the onions aside to cool.
  9. In a blender, crumble in the tofu then add soymilk, nutritional yeast if you’re using it, mustard and salt to taste. Blend until you have a very smooth mixture.
  10. Scrape the tofu mixture into the pan with the onions and mix well.
  11. To assemble the tart:
  12. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  13. Remove the tart dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a floured surface to a diameter two inches larger than the base of the tart pan (mine is 9 inches wide). Fold the dough in half and then transfer to a tart pan and open it so it lies evenly across the pan. If the dough tears, don’t worry. Patch it up once you have transferred it to the pan. No one will be able to tell.
  14. Run the rolling pin across the edges of the tart pan and remove any excess dough hanging over the sides.
  15. With a fork, prick the bottom of the tart shell in several places. Then cover with aluminum foil and fill it to the brim with rice or beans or pie weights. I keep some rice in a box and reuse it every time I need to blind bake a pie or tart crust.
  16. Bake the filled tart crust for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the foil with the rice or beans in it, and continue to bake the crust for another 10 minutes until it is quite dry.
  17. Remove the crust from the oven and increase the heat to 425 degrees. Brush the bottom of the crust with some extra virgin olive oil. Now scrape in the filling and smooth it.
  18. Return the tart pan to the oven and bake for 40 minutes until the top of the tart is golden-brown.
  19. Remove the tart to a rack and cool 10 minutes. Then unmold it — I do that by placing the tart on top of a mason jar and letting the rim slide off. Slide the tart off the base and onto the rack and continue cooling it for another 10 minutes.
  20. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 254 Fat: 10.3 grams Fiber: 4.5 grams Protein: 8.7 grams

 vegan onion tart


Vegan Chocolate Cinnamon Cookies

Vegan Chocolate Cinnamon CookiesThis Chocolate Cinnamon Cookie is just the perfect treat to eat and share for the holidays. Although as good as it is, you might find the sharing part a little harder than you imagined.

I was looking through the many cookie recipes I’ve shared with you on this blog over the years and I realized that I haven’t shared too many chocolate cookies, except this one and some brownie recipes. And that is really weird because I absolutely adore chocolate cookies and could eat them every hour every day.

So here, to atone and then some more, are these very chocolaty cookies. They simply melt in your mouth when you bite into them.I couldn’t stop eating the dough because it was so delicious, and I am sure I’d have gotten a couple more cookies out of the recipe if only I could have stopped myself. I am going to make another batch of these to gift to friends for the holidays and I can just tell they are going to love me for it!

Here’s the recipe.

Vegan Chocolate Cinnamon Cookies

Vegan Chocolate Cinnamon Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Delicious and chocolaty vegan cookies that melt in your mouth.
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: Makes 4 dozen cookies
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, like canola
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼th tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler –in a bowl placed over a pot of simmering water — until it’s melted and smooth.
  2. In a bowl, beat together the sugar, salt, and vegetable oil for a minute with a hand mixer or whisk. You can also do this in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
  3. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, coffee and melted chocolate and beat together.
  4. Now add the floor and mix into the chocolate-sugar mixture using a spatula. You don’t want to beat with a whisk at this stage because you don’t want to build the gluten in the flour.
  5. When the dough is well-mixed, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tight lid and place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  6. Lightly grease two cookie sheets and preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Make a ½-inch ball of the cookie dough and flatten it in your palms to make a disc. Place on the cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Be sure to give at least an inch of space between the cookies.
  8. Bake for 14 minutes, turning the cookie sheet once halfway during baking.
  9. Remove from the oven and place the cookie sheet on a rack. Let the cookies cool thoroughly and firm up before removing them from the sheet.
  10. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cinnamon Cookies nutrition facts

Vegan Chocolate Cinnamon Cookies

Crusty Italian Bread

Crusty italian breadCrusty breads with soft, airy crumbs are my favorite, and here’s an Italian loaf that I absolutely adore and bake up every chance I get.

This bread needs three rises, including an overnight rise, so this is one of those recipes you want to plan ahead for. But all that rising is what rewards you with a great bread, plus most of it really is idle time when you are not doing anything. I also love how versatile this bread is. You could use it for bruschetta, slice it up for a sandwich, tear up pieces of it with your fingers to dunk in your soup, or you could even slather some PB and J on it.

The recipe makes two loaves, which is perfect because I have enough bread to last us the whole week. You can freshen it up before you serve it by placing it in a brown paper bag, spraying the bag with some water, and placing in a hot oven for about 5-10 minutes. It will be like new.

Also feel free to play around with the look of this bread. I like shaping it into oval loaves but I have also shaped it in rounds in the past and sometimes I’ve made three or four smaller loaves with this recipe.

So get that oven going: fall/winter is a perfect time to bake up some bread and get your house smelling like heaven.

Crusty Italian Bread

Crusty Italian Bread
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: Makes 2 loaves, 12 slices each
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 4-5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water (not hot)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  1. Mix the yeast and the warm water in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Add the whole-wheat flour and ¾th cup of all-purpose flour to the bowl and mix with the dough hook or with a wooden spoon until everything’s thoroughly mixed together.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it stand overnight or for eight hours.
  4. Now add the salt and the remaining all-purpose flour to the bowl, a cup at a time, kneading and mixing. Drizzle in the olive oil. You want a smooth but not stiff dough. Continue to knead for another eight minutes.
  5. Shape the dough into a smooth ball and then place in a greased bowl, turning over once to coat the top with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set it aside to rise in a warm place for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
  6. Punch down the dough and divide into two. Shape each half into a loaf by punching it into a round about eight inches in diameter and then rolling it up into a loaf. Pinch the seams together and tuck them underneath.
  7. Sprinkle some cornmeal on a lightly greased baking sheet. Place the loaves as far apart as you can on the sheet, giving enough room on all sides for the loaves to rise.
  8. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside for two hours. The loaves should double in size. In the last half hour of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a baking pan with water in the bottom rack of the oven.
  9. Just before you place the loaves in the oven, make two or three sharp slashes on the top of each loaf using a very sharp knife. You want to use a swift motion so as to not deflate the bread.
  10. Bake the bread for 40 minutes or until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
  11. Remove the baking sheet to a rack and cool 10 minutes, then transfer the loaves to the rack and continue cooling them.

Nutrition facts are for one slice of bread:

Crusty Italian Bread nutrition infoCrusty Italian Bread

Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Bundt CakeThanksgiving is a time to take stock. Of the good things in life, of blessings big, small, and so tiny that you don’t really think about them much but for which you still are grateful, deep in your heart.

As I ponder my life over the past year, I see so many things to be grateful for. My husband Desi — always my best friend and my soul mate and quite simply the best thing that ever happened to me. My dog Opie who thinks I am the best thing that ever happened to him (after his daddy). My cat Pie who sincerely believes that the only reason I exist is to feed her and scratch her ears when she feels like it.

I have friends who keep me company when I want to laugh and who offer me a shoulder when I need to cry. I have books to read, a lust for travel, and a love of creatures, human and animal, of every shape and size. And for nearly seven years now I have had this blog which helps me make friends like you, share my love of cooking and eating, and explore a world that’s way bigger than anything I can possibly imagine.

I could not say thank you for all of these amazing things without sharing something sweet, so I have for you today this chai-spiced Pumpkin Bundt Cake. A simple yet tasty treat that’s like taking a bite of the holidays. (Okay, that was a little mushy, I know, but you get the idea.)

Pumpkin Bundt Cake I woke up Saturday morning with the urge to bake something. It had to be spicy to ward off the chill bite of the fall weather and orange for the holidays. And it had to be healthy because part of being grateful for your family and friends is making sure you keep them around for as long as possible. AND it had to be pretty, of course.

So the bundt cake it was. I love baking up bundt cakes because they look so elegant right out of the oven with no effort on your part. The pan does all of the work for you. But you still get to take credit. I made this bundt cake part whole-wheat and with the rich goodness of the pumpkin added in it could pass for health food. Well, almost.

I ground up the chai spices myself simply because the flavor is much better than you’d get out of anything bottled or jarred and bought off a store shelf. But if you absolutely don’t want to grind up your own spices– or don’t have a hardy spice blender or coffee grinder to do the job– go ahead and use the storebought ones.

The recipe’s next. And right after stay tuned for more vegan Thanksgiving recipes that have featured on Holy Cow! over past holidays.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 20 slices
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground green cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ cups almond milk mixed with 1 tsp vinegar. Set aside to curdle for a couple of minutes.
  • ½ cup canola or other vegetable oil
  • 2½ cups brown sugar
  • ¼ cup flax meal
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups pumpkin puree
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the flours, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the sugar and the oil for a minute. Then add ½ cup of the almond milk, vanilla extract, and flax meal and continue to beat for another two minutes until the mixture is quite fluffy.
  3. Add the flour and the almond milk to the sugar mixture in three batches, alternating and beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a spatula frequently to ensure everything is well-mixed.
  4. Finally add the pumpkin puree and mix for 20 seconds.
  5. Scrape the batter into an oiled and floured bundt pan.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bundt cake comes out clean or with a few crumbs sticking to it.
  7. Set on a rack to cool for 30 minutes, then unmold and continue cooling the cake on a rack.
  8. I just serve this with a dusting of powdered sugar, but you could serve with whipped vegan cream or some vanilla ice cream.


Pumpkin Bundt Cake nutrition information

Pumpkin Bundt Cake


Here are some vegan recipe ideas from Thanksgivings past at Holy Cow!


Pumpkin Spinach Lasagna

Savory Pot Pie

Tikka Masala Pot Pie

Tofu Kofta Curry with Coconut Rice

Savory Sweet Potato Quiche

Creamy Asparagus and Potato Tart

Cauliflower Malai Kofta Curry with Wholewheat Puris

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Lasagna with Sage


Mashed Orange Sweet Potatoes

Velvety Herbed Pumpkin

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Milk

Crunchy Edamame with Caramelized Onions

Cranberry Coulis

Mashed, Whipped Potatoes

Cornbread Stuffing with Bell Peppers

Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon

Spicy Braised Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato and Kale Patties


Pumpkin Brown Rice Pudding

Pumpkin Pie (With Butternut Squash)

Strawberry Pie

Pear and Almond Tart

Mango Cheesecake

Pumpkin Pie

Apple Tart

Maple-Drunk Apple Pie

Tarte Tatin

Mango Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream Frosting

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Halwa

Sweet Mango Cornbread

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Mango Pie