Vegan Steamed Bread (Bagel Bread)

The texture of this bread is reminiscent of bagels, with a close-ish texture which tends to fight back slightly when you eat it. It makes a nice, flexible, sandwich bread with a soft crust, (best eaten on the day of cooking) and excellent toast (any time).

Recipes for steamed bread frequently call for coffee tins for the cooking vessel, but since our coffee comes in cardboard containers, I figured that wouldn’t work for us. Instead, I used 2 large (28 oz) tomato tins, whose lids I had removed with one of those tin openers that don’t leave a sharp edge. I scrubbed them out, and scoured the cut edge with a dish scourer to make sure there were no bits of loose metal, and heavily greased the inside before dropping the bread dough into place.

Note that the dough won’t rise further once you’ve put it on to steam, so make sure it’s as risen as you want it before getting to that stage. Update: Initially, I used 1 tbsp of sugar in this recipe, but when I increased the sugar to 3 tbsp, the bread rose significantly better, but didn’t end up tasting sweet, so I’ve adjusted the recipe to reflect that.

Steamed Vegan GF Bread

1 tbsp dried yeast
3 tbsp sugar (this is for the yeast, not flavor)
4 oz (1 cup) quinoa flour
2 oz (1/2 cup) millet flour
2 1/2 oz (1/2 cup) brown rice flour
6 1/2 oz (1 cup) arrowroot
1 oz (1/4 cup) flax meal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tbsp chia seeds, ground

Mix the yeast and sugar with 1/2 cup warm water, and leave for 5 ā€“ 10 minutes so the yeast can prove that it’s alive and turn frothy.

Put all the other ingredients in a food processor along with the activated yeast mixture and an additional cup of water, and process for about 3 minutes to activate the xanthan gum.

Grease the inside of two 28oz tomato cans, and divide the mixture evenly between them. Allow to sit and rise for 30-45 minutes, or until 50% bigger. Timing will depend on how lively your yeast is feeling, and how warm your flour (and kitchen) is.

In a large pressure cooker, with a trivet or a few forks in the bottom to stop the bread bottom from being scorched on the bottom, bring about an inch of water to the boil.

Cover the top of the cooking tins with a layer of baking parchment and then a layer of foil. Tie them down with a piece of string to prevent steam from getting in, and place in the pressure cooker.

Put on the lid, and bring up to pressure. Cook for 45 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat, and allow to come down to atmospheric pressure naturally.

Remove the loaves from the pan, and allow to cool on a cooling rack.


7 thoughts on “Vegan Steamed Bread (Bagel Bread)

  1. CortneyStanchfield says:

    Yum! This bread looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing! šŸ™‚

    • My kids ate most of the loaf pictured. I think the similarity to bagels did it for them. Once you’ve got your tins and the process sorted out, it’s pretty simple to do. I hope you get to try it out. šŸ™‚

  2. Oo! I’m super excited to try this. =]

  3. Sean says:

    Hello, we are new to the world of vegan, non-wheat eaters (and already feeling better). I got excited when I saw this recipe because: bread. Can this be done without a pressure cooker? Or is that my experiment to conduct?

    • Hi! I have tried numerous gluten free vegan bread recipes, but they have a tendency to be gummy or dry when baked in the oven. I’m definitely going to be experimenting with this recipe (and other bread recipes) further, however, I see no reason why you can’t traditionally steam this bread. I just have a notion that it will take about 3 hours, which seems like rather a long time to have the stove on. If you do conduct your own experiments, I’d be interested to hear how you get on. šŸ™‚

    • Hi Sean,
      I just wanted to give you an update. I’ve now cooked this bread in the oven for about an hour instead of steaming (still in the tomato cans), and it came out fine.

I'd love to hear from you. :-)

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