This vegan Haitian bread recipe will make any novice baker feel like they have been baking for years! With a beautiful golden color on the outside and mildly dense but yet pillowy soft on the inside, this bread is perfect for your morning tea or coffee.
The Haitian Bread, also known as the pain Haitien, is one of the most popular foods in Haiti. The reasons for its popularity are numerous.
There is a particular texture of the bread that is dense but seems to get soften when heated. There is also the fact that most breakfast taken in the Caribbean country includes the bread as an accompaniment, used with coffee.
Haitian bread is made using the popular bread ingredients; flour, yeast, butter, salt, and sugar.
However, in this article, we will discuss another variant of this bread which is the Haitian Vegan Bread.
This bread variant features the addition or subtraction of some ingredients to ensure that it is safe and edible for vegans and people staying off dairy products.
Before we go deeper into the ingredients and preparation process of this vegan Haitian Bread, let’s touch on the history of bread.
History of Bread
Bread is one of the oldest food that mankind has ever known. It is one of the food in written history that has fueled the development of many countries, societies, and communities.
It also played an important role in the development of agricultural practices and is a vital aspect of religious rituals in many religions and spiritual societies.
The earliest evidence of bread making was traced to the Sumerians around 6000 BC. The Sumerians were the first to try out the process of using leavening agents.
Records show that they passed this knowledge to the Egyptians who improved on the process by adding yeast to the flour, instead of the ash used by the Sumerians.
The yeast used by the Egyptians should not be confused with the ones used today. They utilized the air-borne yeasts by leaving the dough outside uncovered for some time, usually overnight.
Apart from the Egyptians, the ancient Greeks and Romans also had a hand in the development and refining of the bread baking process. Bread was already a popular food made in homes in the 5th century BC Greece.
By the 2nd century B.C., Greek bakers were already making their way into Rome to start their baking business. Some records alluded to the fact that bread was a staple food at the time in medieval Europe.
There was a type of bread known as a trencher, which was believed to be the origin of the pizza that we know today.
With the industrial revolution that came, the process of bread making also became modernized.
Machines used as mills were modernized and were now operated using gas and steam instead of wind and water used before. The same goes for the grinding stones used to process wheat flours that are now replaced by steel and ceramic rolls.
By 1912, Otto Frederick Rohwedder had invented the machine that makes sliced bread, and by 1928, it started operation.
In 1961, the Chorleywood Bread Process was designed and it heralded the new era of bread making. This process resulted in the shortening of the time taken to prepare bread and also used mechanical processes.
By this time, white loaves of bread are popular, but by the later part of the 20th century, people realized that white bread has lesser nutritional value and thus, started to move toward dark bread.
Finally, over the past ten years, the process of bread making has been automated and people can now make loaves of bread easily in their homes.
Ingredients for Making Haitian Vegan Bread
The full recipe with the exact measurement is listed in the recipe card below.
All-purpose flour is a type of wheat flour that is versatile and of general use. It is made from milled hard red wheat. It can also be made from a mixture of hard and soft wheat mixed at an 80:20 ratio.
As you can infer from the name, this type of flour is suitable for types of baking including biscuits, bread, muffins, pizza, and cookies.
In some parts of the world such as the UK and the US, the all-purpose flour is referred to as plain flour.
The main purpose of butter in bread and almost all baked food is to improve the texture, appearance, and flavor.
It is ideal for baking bread when cold, as it gives off some steam as it melts in the oven. This steam gets trapped in the layers of the dough, thereby resulting in air pockets that cause a flaky texture.
However, for this Vegan Haitian bread, you need more than cold butter. You need vegan butter or plant base butter.
Vegan butter is a non-dairy butter substitute that vegans use in place of the popular butter that contains dairy products.
It is usually made by combining water with oils derived from plants such as olive oils, coconut oils, avocado oils, or the combination of two or more plant-based oils.
It also contains other ingredients such as emulsifiers, natural or artificial flavors, and colorings, amongst others to emulate the color or texture of the normal butter.
Regardless of the difference in constituents, the vegan butter does the same work that the normal butter does in the bread-making process.
When making Haitian bread, water is most often used instead of milk as it is the most cost effective.
However, to make your bread richer you may opt in for any plant base milk. Be mindful that using milk may alter the texture and flavor.
Pro Tips for Making Vegan Bread Haitian Style
- Although not necessary for this Haitian style bread, you can replace egg white with Aquafaba. Aquafaba is the brine constituent that comes with canned chickpeas. It works as an emulsifier, foaming agent, and leavening agent as it has the same properties as egg white. For every egg in a recipe, use three tablespoons of aquafaba and you are good to go. Again, this is not a requirement for Haitian Bread!
- Texture: You should also limit the flour content, as too much flour makes the bread too hard. The texture you will find in this bread will be close enough to a brioche bread.
- You can also use vinegar in making your Haitian vegan bread. A teaspoon of vinegar helps break the gluten down to help it with the digestibility of the bread.
- Keep the oven moist while baking. This ensures that you have a crusty exterior and a fluffy interior.
How To Store Your Bread?
You can store the Haitian vegan bread over the counter or in a refrigerator or freezer for some time.
The freezer doesn’t ruin the bread except the freezer air gets into the bread. This causes freezer burns and freezer-aroma flavors in the bread. To prevent this, you need to ensure that the bread is well-wrapped before refrigeration.
More Haitian Vegan Recipes To Enjoy
If you loved this bread recipe, we recommend you try one of these Haitian vegan recipes next.
It warms our hearts to see the recipes you make from this site, and we’d especially would love to know if you tried this recipe.
Also, we would appreciate if could give it a star rating below!
How To Make Haitian Vegan Bread
- Stand Mixer
- 3 ½ Cups Sifted All-Purpose Flour + 1 Tbsp.
- 2 ¼ Tsp. Dry Instant Yeast
- 1 Tsp. Salt We used Kosher Salt
- 4 Tbsp. Sugar We used Raw Cane Sugar
- 1 ½ Cup Warm Water
- 6 Tbsp. Vegan Butter Or Plant Butter
- 1 Tsp. Oil
- Heat the water until lukewarm. The water should be lukewarm and should not burn when touched. Filter or sift the flour in a stand mixer. Add the yeast, salt, and sugar. Mix well with the stand mixer. Then add the water and 2 Tbsp. of the soft vegan butter. Set a timer to 12 minutes.
- Continue mixing the dough on the number 2 speed. Then add 2 tablespoon of the vegan butter when the timer reaches 4 minutes and again when the timer reaches 8 minutes. Knead in the machine until the timer goes off.Using a large shallow bowl, add 1 tsp. oil (olive oil or avocado oil) and spread evenly. Transfer the dough to a cleaned bowl and cover it with a clean towel and let rise for 1 hour in a warm location, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Flour a clean surface, punch a whole in the middle of the dough, and transfer the dough to the floured surface. Lightly press down onto the dough and shape it into a 12" square diameter.Line a baking dish with parchment paper, pull out a small amount of dough (My dough was 1.25 ounces in weight), shape it into a ball and roll it on a circular motion on a flour surface in a circular motion. Then roll it into a small log. Place the dough on the lined baking dish about ½ inch apart. Repeat the steps until you have used all of the dough. Cover the dough with a clean towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. After the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake the bread for 18 minutes in the oven at 325°. Base with melted vegan butter and enjoy.