This savory bread combines fresh spinach, caramelized onions, and crunchy walnuts. As the bread bakes, the fragrance and flavor of the caramelized onion grows stronger, and the chopped walnuts add texture. There's no waiting period as the dough rises, either — beer, along with baking soda and baking powder help the bread achieve its light, airy texture. Enjoy toasted with a spread of vegan butter or garlicky cashew cream cheese.
Caramelized Onion Spinach Bread [Vegan]
For the Wet Ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed
- 1 1/4 cups beer (divided to 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup)
- 1 1/4 cups spinach (about 50 g)
- 1/2 cup walnuts (about 45 g)
- 3 medium onions (about 250 g)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon barley malt syrup (or sweetener of choice)
For the Dry Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups, plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose wheat flour
- Generous 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Olive oil, for brushing the loaf pan
- Stir the flaxseed with 1/2 cup of beer and blend mixture with immersion blender until seeds have cracked (or alternatively you can use pre-ground flax seeds). The ground seeds and beer will form a gel that will work as a binder and egg substitute in this recipe.
- Next, caramelize onions. Cut onions into thin half moons. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil on skillet.
- Add sliced onions to the skillet and season them with salt. Fry onions over low heat for about 30 minutes, until they have reduced in volume and caramelized. Add a splash of water to the skillet during the process if the mixture sticks to the pan.
- Mix in balsamic vinegar and syrup. Onions should look golden brown and almost like jam.
- Preheat oven to 345°F. Set walnuts on baking tray and toast them in the oven for 7–10 minutes, until slightly browned. Chop them coarsely. Rinse and dry the spinach and chop it finely.
- Brush a loaf pan (2 pound capacity) with oil, or line it with parchment paper. Combine dry ingredients (both flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt) in a bowl. Add caramelized onions.
- Use your hands to spread them evenly to the flour mixture. Add chopped nuts and spinach. Add also the flax seed mixture and stir it into batter. Finally add the remaining beer and mix it into batter quickly. Pour the batter into loaf pan and put it into preheated oven immediately. Bake for 40–45 minutes.