Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fast Flavour: Whole Wheat, Quinoa and Tomato Buns

Hi again! I've been cooking but not writing again (yes I know, how bad!) but indulge me for now, I'm trying to re-organize my blog's layout so things may be a bit quirky around here for a bit!

Tonight I'm bringing you the latest reincarnation of my favourite Irish Soda Bread recipe, which came from the Bread Book by Susan Wright. It was almost a whole year ago that I shared the original recipe, a slightly sweet, buttery, crisp crusted and dense loaf that went perfectly with everything from peanut butter and jam, to honey, to Dijon mustard and ham!

I figured it was time for a revamp. I had cooked off a bit of quinoa last week with the intention of using it in a yeasted bread (which I never made) and I was getting tired of it taking up my fridge space. I also had (well, still have) leftover vegetable juice from the failed gazpacho experiment and some nutritional yeast that was calling to be used (unlike most of the other vegetarians and vegans that seem to be out there, the taste of NY is a bit off-putting to me. Andrew doesn't mind it in baked goods, so far as I know, so that's where a lot of my stash [from the beginning of my mostly-veg life] winds up).

I opted to turn this bread more savoury than sweet as a result, cutting the added sugars in the recipe to 1/4 of the original quantity, adding olive oil in place of the butter, and adding hot pepper flakes and a pinch of oregano to the dough as well. The buttermilk in the recipe was replaced completely with the veggie juice, making the dough a vibrant salmon colour, which mellowed to a rather appetizing burnt orange as it baked. The egg was omitted completely, simply from the fact that I didn't have any that I could use at the time (with a family [and step-family] like mine that eat a minimum of 4 eggs between them every day, they're a precious resource), and I don't think the bread suffered at all. Instead of two round loaves, I opted to make 8 hamburger-bun size rolls so that my dad and Andrew (the lucky victims...I mean... recipients of this experiment) could use them for sandwiches or burgers if they wanted to. Andrew's up to Ottawa tomorrow morning for his graduation ceremony, so this is good road food for him if he wants to escape the inevitable roadside lunch stop that is the Tim Hortons / Wendy's / Mr. Sub franchise.
I still have plans to make more bread, I'm hoping to get a sweet enriched one out soon, but with everyone's schedules so crazy due to the end of high school classes and their exams, it may be a week or two before that happens! As for the sourdough starter, it's still alive and kicking! I found a good-looking, fairly straightforward dough recipe on Baking Bites, so it's on my to-do list (with those crumpets too!). For now, though, here is a slightly faster, pinker shade of bread, which is taking part in next week's ARF / 5-A-Day event at Sweetnick's.

Whole Wheat, Quinoa and Tomato Buns
Makes 8 hamburger buns or 12 dinner rolls
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 - 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa (about 1/4 cup dry)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp flavourful olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 2/3 cups vegetable juice (V8)
  1. Preheat oven to 375F, lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.
  2. Mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, oregano, pepper flakes, quinoa and nutritional yeast in a large bowl.
  3. Add in olive oil, honey, and V8.Beat until very well blended, adding a touch of flour or juice as necessary (you want a slightly sticky and soft but workable dough).
  4. Flour a kneading surface and turn out.
  5. Knead about 10 minutes, until fairly smooth.
  6. Allow to rest about 10 minutes.
  7. Divide dough into 8 buns (for hamburger-size) or 12 (for dinner rolls), roll into balls and place on the cookie sheets spaced about 2" apart.
  8. Score the top of each bun 1-2 times.
  9. Bake 25 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 293.4
Total Fat: 3.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 139.8 mg
Total Carbs: 57.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.9 g
Protein: 11.5 g


  1. This looks amazing! Great way to use up V8 (some of which we have in our fridge right now. .. hmmm--bye, gotta go bake buns!)

  2. Yum! I'm glad that you're throwing things in, experimenting! If you're of a mind to, you might consider tossing in a cup of red wine as well - it makes for a lovely pink bread, most of the alcohol should bake out, and people can't seem to get enough of it when we do that. :)


Thanks for the feedback!