Plant-based baking can get so much easier if you just have the right pantry and the right shortcuts. If you like getting creative in the kitchen, you’ll love our vegan baking hacks
Turns out, vegan baking isn't about the substitutes but about the techniques. Your sponge can be just as fluffier as a cake with eggs and milk if you have the right know-how. Did you know that a scone needs a semi-hard vegan stick butter that takes time to melt, whereas other crust-heavy recipes could benefit from room-temperature coconut oil because it resembles lard?
Switching up some tools, habits and basic ingredients can make you a lot more efficient with vegan recipes even if you have to put in extra work.
Use A Scale Instead Of Measuring Cups
Scales are more important than measuring cups in a vegan kitchen since proportion is key. Instead of scoping ingredients try to weigh them out. Too much leavening agent or too little sugar can dramatically throw off the texture of a pastry, turning it dense or unnecessarily flakier. Scales simply offer more precision which is crucial when you're measuring everything by the T.
Make Buttermilk With Apple Cider
Some bread recipes need curdled milk made using plant milk and acid. The acidic agent in traditional buttermilk interacts with baking soda to produce a better rise which breaks down gluten, something that gives structure to bread baked goods. As a result, the final product can get quite messy and crumbly.
If you're making a vegan recipe, use apple cider, lemon juice, or distilled white vinegar with plant-based milk to get the same reaction as buttermilk. Try to avoid low-protein milk, such as cashew or coconut milk since they don't always deliver optimal results with curdling.
Unsweetened Coconut Milk Is Your Best Bet
Coconut milk has a subtle nuttiness and a warm and subtle sweetness which gives a great profile to desserts with minimal sugar. When it comes to baking, the flavour really matters. A neutral-tasting milk can be made for a great base; coconut milk, despite its prominent smell, adds a great flavour and an even consistency.
For instance, coconut milk makes the perfect whipped cream. Simply refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight open it upside down the next day and whip it until stiff. In case someone wants to go a different direction or an even subtler profile, almond milk can offer a sweet and creamy undertone
If You Improvise, Stock Up On Aquafaba
You may not need it for simpler beginner's recipes but this egg replacement liquid made from chickpea water will be a game-changer for your kitchen. Aquafaba whips up just like egg whites and can produce the fluffiest desserts. By popular standards, three tablespoons of aquafaba are equivalent to one whole egg, while two tablespoons of aquafaba are equivalent to one egg white.