Helau friends! Are you feeling the carnival vibe or aren`t you celebrating that event at all? In Bern – my hometown – the carnival just finished. But in Basel, a Swiss city with a very famous and well-known Mardi Gras, they just started celebrating today with the so-called “Morgenstreich”. Personally I am not that of a huge “Fasnacht” fan – that is how we call carnival in Switzerland – too many people, way too noisy and I don`t like the traditional “Guggen” music at all. Although I absolutely dig the idea behind this custom, which is to banish the cold season and to welcome spring. On my opinion it`s definitely time to kick winter to the curbs. I need some sunshine in my life! Sadly the actual situation here is more likely the contrary. The last few days have been really cold and grey. I can feel the coldness in my bones only by looking out of the window. That`s the disadvantage of living in a cold country, although it`s beautiful here. What is your opinion on this? Are you more of a winter type or do you prefer the warm months like I do?
OK, enough complaining about the weather situation. Let`s get back to the main topic of this post. Maybe it`s not new to you, that “Fasnacht” also is about welcoming and celebrating the fasting period. The name itself might already suggest that though. During this period you can encounter some culinary highlights in Switzerland, which are sold everywhere. As for example “Fasnachts-Chüechli”, a special type of fried dough pastry, and the star of today`s post the “Fastenwähe”. The name “Wähe” may give the impression we are talking about a flan, but that is not the case here. Fastenwähe is a traditional baked good from Basel and it is based on a yeast-risen dough. Besides the yeast there`s also white flour, butter and milk in it and it`s given a cumin-egg wash in the end. In one sentence, Fastenwähe is made out of ingredients we don`t eat living a mainly vegan diet.
For that very reason, I would like to share a veganized version today. This recipe also is completely free of refined white flour, as it consists of whole wheat flour. You might think no big deal to replace white flour by whole wheat right? I almost agree, but there is a small trick you have to know when using whole wheat flour with white flour recipes. Namely you can not substitute white flour by whole wheat flour one-to-one. A lot of times you need to adjust the amounts of the ingredients as well. A whole wheat dough needs more liquid and sometimes also more yeast as a regular white wheat one. In some cases you also have to give the dough more time to raise. For this recipe I had to double the time. This is due to the high bran percentage of whole wheat flour. Also don`t be astounded by the fact, that a whole wheat dough will never have the same fluffiness and will never raise the same like a white flour dough. But at least it provides a way better attribution to a wholefood diet.
Ingredients (for 5 flans):
- 250g whole wheat flour, organic
- 25g yeast, organic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 200ml soy milk
- 85g margarine, vegan
- 50ml soy milk, for the wash
- 3 tablespoons caraway seeds -> I only had cumin seeds, which isn`t exactly the same thing, but I definitely recommend to use caraway seeds.
- Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Crumble the yeast over the flour.
- Add soy milk and margarine and knead until the dough is smooth.
- Put the dough in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature for 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven at 230 Celsius and place a parchment paper on a baking tin.
- Divide your dough in 5 evenly sized portions. Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and roll out the 5 dough parts into an oval shape. Make 4 cuts for every flan.
- Place the flans onto your baking tin and carefully pull apart the cuts to make them wider. You can also cut out a little bit of the dough to make it similar to the traditional ones. Let rise for another 15 minutes.
- Give the flans a soy milk wash and sprinkle on some caraway seeds.
- Bake for 12 minutes on the middle rack of your oven.
There`s actually the possibility to prepare a bigger amount of flans and freeze them after baking. Like that you can take them out of the freezer and put them in the oven whenever you feel like eating some.
Read you soon,