Baking homemade bread is delicious and healthy with this recipe for Citrus-Pumpkin Seed Crusty Spelt Brown bread. And di I mention, totally fast and easy too? Really! You can easily speed the bread baking process up by removing the yeast. No rising time required. Just mix your dough, plop it into your bread pan, slide your pan into a steamy hot oven and watch your bread fluff up (just enough) and bake into beautiful crusty bread. I dare you to NOT snag a piece of this crust right after you remove the loaf from its pan.
Yeast-free breads have a hearty, rustic, yet still moist texture when you fill the dough with enough good-for-you ingredients like seeds, whole grains, fruit or veggie purees and more. You get fiber-ful loaves that pair perfectly with big bowls of steamy soup, smashed avocado for avocado toast and just about any meal really. I love to pair a slice with afternoon tea or lattes, warm the bread and add a slather of vegan butter and maple syrup for instant cozy food bliss…
Serve it any way you’d like.
Avocado Toast. This bread made the BEST avocado toast lunch. I slathered on smashed diced avocado that has been tossed in a splash of lemon juice, chili spice and pink salt. Then I added some red pepper flakes on top. I toasted my slice of bread before adding the avocado. Perfect! And totally homemade! We like that. Want to add even MORE iron and nutrients to your avocado toast? Smash 1/2 tsp of spirulina into your avocado. See recipe.
Brown Crusty Bread. This recipe uses an array of healthy ingredients like homemade applesauce, fresh citrus and zest, fiber-rich bran, iron-rich blackstrap molasses, a touch of sweetness from agave or maple syrup, a kiss of cinnamon, healthy fat virgin coconut oil and sprouted spelt flour (although feel free to try out flour substitutes, regular spelt works too).
You may not have blackstrap molasses on hand. But yes, that 1 Tbsp is important! And trust me, go buy a bottle of this dark black sweetener and use it in all your grain breads, pumpkin muffins and cookies this fall and winter. Even BBQ sauces and chili recipes love this stuff.
Molasses browns the color of baked goods and also gives a very unique and distinctive sweet yet earthy tone. It tastes like fall to me. That is the only way I can describe it! Molasses adds that signature flavor to gingersnap cookies and bran muffins too.
Molasses is rich in iron, which is great news for vegans who need to watch out for their iron intake. Females ages 19-50 should be getting about 18mg of iron a day.
Vegan iron-rich foods include:
Spirulina (1 tsp): 5 mg
Cooked soybeans (1/2 cup): 4.4 mg
Pumpkin seeds (1 ounce): 4.2 mg (also in this recipe!)
Quinoa (4 ounces): 4 mg
Blackstrap molasses (1 tbsp): 4 mg
Tomato paste (4 ounces): 3.9 mg
White beans (1/2 cup) 3.9 mg
Cooked spinach (1/2 cup): 3.2 mg
Lentils (4 ounces): 3 mg
One slice of this bread has about 12-15% RDA iron, depending on which flour you use. If you want to boost that even more, substitute 1 Tbsp of molasses for one of the Tbsp of agave/maple sweetener.
Yeast-Free. Yeast free breads do not have the same fluffy texture as a yeasted bread. But if you fill the dough with enough fiber they become these moist, nutty, grainy, rustic slices that are cravable! This bread tastes like it was baked in a tiny cottage somewhere in a magical forest or maybe a countryside Bed & Breakfast. Warm from the oven.
GF. If you go with gluten free substitutes for the flour and bran, your bread will be noticeably crumbly, (but still delicious). Add some ground flax seeds to improve the binding. Or add 2 tsp Xanthan gum to the dough for further binding power.
But don’t forget those red pepper flakes!..
Citrus-Pumpkin Seed Crusty Brown Bread
vegan, makes one loaf – 9 thick slices
Blended liquid mixture: — you should have just under 2 1/4 cups liquid total
1 cup applesauce – or another fruit puree sauce* (homemade recommended)
1 medium juicy orange, peeled + pinch of citrus zest**
3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
1 Tbsp coconut oil, extra virgin (melted)
1 cup + 1 Tbsp wheat bran (substitute with oat bran or oat flour if desired.)
2 1/2 + 1 Tbsp cups sprouted spelt flour, organic (substitute plain spelt or wheat flour or a gf blend if desired)***
1/2 tsp pink salt (sub plain salt)
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp baking powder
Optional: 1-2 Tbsp vital wheat gluten or 2 tsp ground flax seeds for additional binding
Fold-in: 1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds (salted/sprouted used) + 1 Tbsp topping
*Fruit Puree: I used homemade raw applesauce first but also found success with a homemade cooked applesauce, strawberry puree (yum!) and an apple + pear raw sauce.
**Orange: If you do not have a blender or food processor that can smoothly puree a whole peeled orange, you can substitute with 1/2 cup orange juice + an additional scoop of bran to compensate for the lost fiber
***Flour: You can try a spelt, wheat or gf variety of all purpose flour. Whole grain or sprouted grain flour is advised for this bread.
1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees.
2. Grease a bread loaf pan (9″ x 5″) with a spray oil.
3. Combine all the dry ingredients: flour, bran, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and optional vital wheat gluten or ground flax seeds in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
4. In a blender or food processor, blend the following: fruit puree/sauce, orange, molasses, agave or maple syrup, coconut oil. Note: I advise making homemade applesauce for the puree. Add one large apple, chopped roughly, a few teaspoons of lemon juice, plus enough water to blend, usually 1-3 Tbsp. Then a pinch of cinnamon. I blend that apple sauce the “wet” ingredients. (Homemade applesauce instructions here.) The total liquid that you should end up with should be just under 2 1/4 cups.
5. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry bowl and fold until everything is combined and a light and fluffy dough forms. Fold in the pumpkin seeds. If you like working with a drier dough, add in another few spoonfuls of flour. Flour brands vary greatly and will change the dough texture a bit. I loved the success I found from Sprouted Spelt
6. Lightly spray top of dough with oil. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds on top.
7. Bake at 415 for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. Even if the bread looks done, keep baking for the full amount of time because you want that center to be baked through.
8. Pull from oven and cool a few minutes before removing from pan. Serve right away or cool for easier slicing. Store on the countertop, covered for up to 2 days. After that, place in freezer to store and re-toast to serve. For easier serving of frozen leftovers, slice bread before freezing.
Estimated nutritional info per thick slice if 9 slices per loaf:
I tested this recipe many times to make sure it works for you. Each loaf had its own unique personality, as bread tends to do, but I hope it works for you! Please give it a try and let me know how it went! Final test kitchen loaf. Tried a creative strawberry puree and plain spelt flour here..