Dark Chocolate Berry Swirl Bread

Dark Chocolate Berry Swirl Bread {vegan} | Kneading Home

I've been a long time reader of Alexandra Stafford's blog. In fact, we probably cook from it at least once a week. So when her book, Bread Toast Crumbs came out last month, it arrived in my mailbox with not a minute to spare. I've been wanting to be the type of person who bakes my own bread for a while now but unfortunately this whole grad school thing was not allowing that to happen. This cookbook has showed me otherwise. The recipes are simple and fairly quick and make me wonder why it's taken me so long to make homemade bread on a weekly basis because fresh out of the oven it's just such a game changer. 

This bread is adapted from one in her book and it teeters on the line of being borderline too decadent. Creamy chocolate ganache with bursting juicy berries swirled together in a barely sweetened loaf that's all too unassuming until you cut it open and BAM -  what dreams are made of. My dreams, at least. And somehow it's dairy and egg free. I seriously don't know how that happened but it wasn't hard at all. 

Of course you could go ahead and use whole milk in the dough and butter in the ganache, but I've replaced them both with coconut milk to keep that fat content and creaminess factor high. Honestly, you'd never know the difference, plus that subtle coconut smell as you're mixing up the ganache is quite intoxicating. 

So maybe make this for your mother on Sunday, maybe make it for yourself and eat the whole thing in 24 hours, maybe bring it to brunch. Either way, food is love, and everyone will love you. 

Dark Chocolate Berry Swirl Bread {vegan} | Kneading Home
Dark Chocolate Berry Swirl Bread {vegan} | Kneading Home
Dark Chocolate Berry Swirl Bread {vegan} | Kneading Home
Dark Chocolate Berry Swirl Bread {vegan} | Kneading Home
Dark Chocolate Berry Swirl Bread {vegan} | Kneading Home
Dark Chocolate Berry Swirl Bread {vegan}
Makes 1 loaf
Adapted from: Bread Toast Crumbs

For the Dough:
3 cups all purpose flour (384 grams)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
3/4 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup boiling water + 1/4 cup room temp water
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
a knob of vegan butter* for greasing the pan

For the Filling:
3.5 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
2 tablespooons powdered sugar
1 scant cup of berries (I used strawberries + raspberries)

Make the dough. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Whisk to combine. In a small bowl, combine the coconut milk and water (both boiling & room temp). Pour the wet ingredients into the dry followed by the coconut oil. Use a rubber spatula to mix everything until it forms a cohesive dough. Cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size. 

While the dough is rising make the ganache. Place the chocolate and coconut milk in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir constantly until the chocolate begins to milk, then stir in the powdered sugar. Keep stirring until the chocolate has melted completely. Remove form heat and set aside to cool completely. 

Grease a standard 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan generously with vegan butter. Once the dough has risen de-flat it with a fork and transfer it to a heavily floured work surface. With floured hands shape the dough into a ball (it should be very covered in flour at this point) and let sit for 20 minutes uncovered. Gentle shape the dough into a 10 x 15 inch rectangle (using either your hands or a rolling pin). Make sure you have plenty of flour underneath your rectangle so it doesn't stick to the surface. Spread the ganache all over the top of the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch margin on all sides. Top with berries. Roll the bread from short end to short end into a thick 10 inch log, seam side down. Take a deep breath (you've got this!) and transfer it your buttered loaf pan. 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F, while you let the dough rise for about 10 minutes until it just begins to crown the rim of the pan. Cook the bread for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden and firm. Remove from the pan and turn onto its side to cool (I let it rest on 1 side for 10 minutes then the other side for 10 minutes) before cutting into it! 

Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Bread {vegan}

Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Bread {vegan + naturally-sweetened} | Kneading Home

Operation put strawberries in as many things as humanly possible before summer gets here continues today. I've long been a fan of the marriage of strawberries and banana. They made a dynamic duo, and feel tropical and springy. So I decided to adapt my Aunt's banana bread recipe, which I pretty much grew up on and have been making forever, to include strawberries! Yipee! 

Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Bread {vegan + naturally-sweetened} | Kneading Home
Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Bread {vegan + naturally-sweetened} | Kneading Home
Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Bread {vegan + naturally-sweetened} | Kneading Home

I wanted to make it somewhat less of a treat and somewhat more of a dare I say, healthy, snack. Something that would be appropriate with your morning coffee. So I omitted the sugar and replaced it with half the amount of maple syrup. All hail maple syrup! I swear I should have been born Canadian. With the help of a little coconut oil, I also made it vegan. I used a combination of whole wheat pastry flour, which makes this bread surprisingly light, and good old fashioned oats. And despite the fact that it tastes just as good if not better than the banana bread I grew up eating, it's packed with protein, whole grains, and fiber, so there is no guilt in eating the entire loaf. The result is an incredibly moist loaf of classic banana bread with the perfect tang from bursting ripe strawberries. I think banana bread is the ultimate homemade food. It smells and tastes like home.

Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Bread {vegan + naturally-sweetened} | Kneading Home
Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Bread {vegan + naturally-sweetened} | Kneading Home

Whole Wheat Strawberry Banana Bread {Vegan} 
Makes 1 large loaf

1 flax eggs (1 tbsp flax seed meal + 2.5 tbsp water + pinch of baking powder) or 1 chicken egg
1 cup mashed ripe banana (~2 medium bananas)
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup old fashioned oats (not quick-cooking)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 scant cup finely diced strawberries + 1-2 strawberries for topping

Prepare the flax egg, if using. Combine flax and water in a small prep bowl, stir to combine and let sit at least 20 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a medium loaf pan (I used coconut oil spray) .

Process the oats in the bowl of a food processor for about 1 minute until finely ground. Combine oat “flour” with whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and whisk to combine.

Toss baking powder into the flax seed mixture (skip this step if you are using a regular egg) and stir, it should be thickened to the consistency of an egg by now. In a large bowl (or stand mixture) mix together flax egg, bananas, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla until fully incorporated.

Slowly integrate the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Gently stir in the diced strawberries and pour the batter into your loaf pan. Thinly slice remaining 1-2 strawberries and drape them on top of your loaf. Bake for 1 hour until golden brown on the top and a skewer comes out completely clean.


The fresh strawberries give this bread a lot of moisture. Moisture leads to a longer cooking time. The top of your loaf will likely be darker than the loaf in the photos (which would have used a longer cook time).
As tempting as it is to toss in 2-3 ripe bananas and call it good, you need to measure out exactly a cup. Too much banana and the loaf won’t cook through. Trust me and my 6 loaves of under-cooked bread.



Simple Zucchini Bread {Vegan}

Zucchini Bread {vegan} | Kneading Home

Tomatoes, zucchini, peaches, oh my! Can you tell I'm trying to hold onto summer? They are practically giving zucchini away this time of year, it's so cheap. I knew I couldn't let the season end before making (and freezing) some zucchini bread. Look no further than Deb Perlman, the goddess of smitten kitchen, and my go-to for almost everything. I've made her zucchini bread before, and like everything else she makes, it was delicious. But I wanted to make it a bit healthier, since I have zero self-control around baked goods. 

I had a feeling I'd be able to replace some of the sugar with a combination of maple syrup (I LOVE MAPLE SYRUP!!!) and a can of applesauce I had in the back of the fridge from a chocolate cake I made a little while ago.  I figured I could add a bit of whole wheat pastry flour in place of all purpose, pack a little more zucchini in there, and I thought, while I was at it why not make it vegan? I'm happy to report, I succeeded on all fronts. Way better than I expected, actually. (Note: I don't always succeed. I made loaded nachos last weekend intending to post them, and after 3 hours of dicing tomatoes and onions for homemade salsas, the result tasted significantly less good than the $8 nachos from Sharky's down the street. Sigh...)

Zucchini Bread {vegan} | Kneading Home
Zucchini Bread {vegan} | Kneading Home

The result is pretty damn awesome. It is probably the most moist, borderline too moist (if such a thing even exists) bread I've ever made. It's rich like gooey dark chocolate cake, but warmed by a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, & maple. 

Classic Zucchini Bread {Vegan}
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen 
Makes 2 medium loaves 

3 flax eggs (3 tbsp ground flax seed + 1/2 cup water + 1/4 tsp baking powder) 
1 cup coconut oil, melted  
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
2 tsp vanilla extract
2.5 cups grated zucchini

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt 

Prepare the flax eggs by whisking flax seed with water in a small bowl. Let sit for 15-20 minutes until the texture becomes much like that of an egg. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease two medium loaf bans. In a large bowl whisk together flax eggs with 1/4 tsp baking powder, oil, sugars, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir in grated zucchini (it can be grated using either a food processor with a grating attachment or a box grater). 

In a medium size bowl combine both flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into loaf pans and bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.