Amy's Mom's Placek (but better because this version's vegan!)
-makes three large or four smaller loaves
NOTE: i used my food processor to make the egg replacement, which i found really helpful.
1.) 2 cups soy milk (i used plain)
2.) 1 cup soybean margarine, which is two sticks (i used willow run)
3.) 1 tsp salt
4.) 3/4 cup granulated sugar
5.) 1 1/2 cups yellow raisins (brown would be fine as well, but the yellow are so good!)
6.) 2 envelopes, dry yeast
7.) 1 tb sugar
8.) 2 tb hot tap water
9.) 1 cup puree, made from 1 package, silken lite firm tofu (vacuum- packed square package).
i used lite, but you don't have to.
10.) 2 tsp vanilla (i didn't measure, but my mom's recipe said 1 tsp, and i know i drizzled in more!)
11.) 7 cups flour + up to 3 cups additional flour = about 9-10 cups flour (i started out with 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour & 3 cups regular unbleached flour. i then added cup-by-cup whole wheat and unbleached until my dough reached a proper, non-sticky consistency. i'd say i used about 9 1/2 cups flour total, half whole wheat and half unbleached).
1.) 6 tb margarine, which is 3/4 stick
2.) 3/4 cup granulated sugar
3.) 3/4 cup flour
1.) pour 2 c soymilk into medium or large-size saucepan on low and stir. gradually add in the butter, 3/4 c sugar and 1 tsp salt. continue to stir this mixture on low until the margarine is melted.
2.) remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool once the margarine's melted.
3.) boil some water and pour this over your raisins in a medium-size bowl. make sure to cover them completely. set them aside for 15-20 mins to soak.
4.) dissolve the 2 packets of yeast and 1 tb sugar in 2 tb of hot tap water. stir this until you have completely dissolved the yeast. my mom's recipe says warm water, but we found that the yeast doesn't dissolve so well in warm. hot works so much better!) add this to your cooled milk mixture and mix well.
5.) make your egg replacer. empty 1 entire package of silken firm tofu into your food processor and blend it until smooth. i added water to it as well from the tap, little by little, until the tofu was a smooth puree. make sure you don't have any lumps in your puree- you want this to be silky-smooth.
6.) pour your cooled milk/yeast mixture into a large bowl. add 1 cup of your egg replacer, along with the 2 tsp of vanilla to the mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon. don't be afraid if your egg replacer doesn't completely mix with the rest. mix everything as best as you can to disperse the egg replacer throughout, and you'll be just fine.
7.) add your flour, little by little, and stir it in, as well as your drained raisins. as i stated in the ingredients, you want to start out with using 7 cups of flour, but then you will continue to add it, cup by cup or so until your dough is pliable and elastic. make sure it's not sticky! for us, it was 9 1/2 cups of flour. for you it may be 9 or 10.
8.) next, divide the dough into three equal-size portions (or four, if you'll be making small loaves). put the dough into separate bowls and place on top of your stove, covered with a towel. i'd suggest turning the oven on to 250 or so to keep everything nice and warm. let the dough sit for an hour covered.
9.) after the hour is up, knead and fold it with your hands for about 3-5 minutes each.
10.) then put the dough into 3 large greased and lightly floured loaf pans. press the dough down gently into the pan.
11.) make your crumbs by combining the margarine, sugar, and flour. mix it with your hands to make little crumbles. divide up the crumbles three ways and sprinkle them on your loaves. then press down gently on the crumbs along the body of your loaf to help them adhere. return your loaf pans to the stove top and cover them with your towel. let these sit for another 2 hours to rise.
12.) after your two hours have passed, bake the loaves in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. if you've got small loaf pans, my mom suggests 40 minutes. after the time is up, check your loaves with a toothpick, and remember to stick it in far enough- the loaves are so tall, you want to make sure you're actually checking the middle! if your toothpicks come out clean, you're all done. otherwise, let them bake for another five minutes and check again.
13.) place the pans on the stovetop and shut off your oven. allow them to cool for 20-30 minutes. once the pans feel cooler, you can then turn the placek out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. don't worry if you lose some crumbs when you turn out the placek- those are the ones you can always eat while your loaves are cooling.
14.) slice and eat. sigh with great pleasure. yes, you can have a tasty polish vegan easter!
this was a time-consuming baked good, but i was just so happy when they tasted exactly as i wanted them to. i'm looking forward to impressing my omni family tomorrow @ breakfast. :)