Vegan “Handbrot“ (Cheese Stuffed Bread)
„Handbrot“ is probably THE highlight at any German festival or Christmas market. We often stand in front of the market stand with wide eyes, smell the freshly baked yeast dough, the melting cheese and the crispy diced ham, and envy everyone who joins the usually long queue to order one of the airy yeast rolls. Because, you can guess, they're usually not vegan. Bad luck for us, but of course, that doesn't mean we have to give up this German delicacy!
For those who don't know what we're talking about, here's a quick explanation: „Handbrot“ is a yeast dough roll (usually) filled with cheese and ham, topped with yogurt and chives. Vegan preparation is not that complicated, so here comes our own vegan recipe for it. But before we start, we have a few final tips for you.
The yeast dough: For the yeast dough, you should plan some time because this part of the recipe, of course, takes the longest. Because, you guessed it, your yeast dough must naturally rise before you can fill and bake it. You can prepare your yeast dough the night before and let it rise in the refrigerator. The day after, you just fill your dough, and off it goes into the oven. The ingredients for the yeast dough are absolutely basic, and if you only have dry yeast at home, it works perfectly as well.
The filling: We stay quite classic and fill our hand bread with vegan shredded cheese and the vegan bacon bits from GREENFORCE. They are gluten-free, soy-free, protein-rich, and must not be refrigerated or molded. Mix the powder with a bit of water and oil to make them, then fry the mixture. One 75-gram package yields 150 grams (5.25 oz) of the vegan bacon bits, which is why we used two packages for our recipe. By the way, with the code "ZUCKERJAGDWURST " you get 20% off your entire order. In the period from 1.11. to 15.11.2023 it's even 25%! We like the bacon bits very much because they taste really hearty, but are also super fast fried in the pan. You can always have them in the pantry unrefrigerated at home and have a savory topping for your stir fry in the morning, soup at lunch or casserole in the evening.
The toppings: Besides the classic blob of vegan yogurt, we sprinkle some chives over our vegan breads. If you want, you can, of course, add some of the vegan bacon bits on top.
Vegan "Handbrot" (Cheese Stuffed Bread)
For the dough:
- 42 g (1.5 oz) fresh yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 300 ml (1.25 cups) warm water
- 500 g (4 cups) wheat flour (type 405)
- 1 tsp salt
- vegetable oil for greasing
For the filling:
- 300 g (10.5 oz) vegan shredded cheese
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp water
- 150 g (5.25 oz) vegan Bacon Bits (e.g. from GREENFORCE)
- vegetable oil for frying
- vegan yogurt or crème fraîche
- vegan bacon bits (e.g. from GREENFORCE)
Mix yeast and sugar in a large bowl with warm water and let stand for 10 minutes until bubbles form on the surface. Add flour and salt and knead thoroughly until a smooth, soft dough forms. As soon as it separates from the edge, remove it from the bowl, flour the work surface and knead the dough with your hands for 5 minutes.
Grease the bowl with some oil, place the dough inside and cover the bowl with a damp, clean tea towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for at least an hour until it has doubled in volume.
In the meantime, mix the vegan cheese with oil and water. Prepare the vegan bacon bits according to the package instructions.
Preheat the oven to 200 °C / 390 °F (convection heat). Once the dough has doubled in volume, remove from the bowl and transfer to a floured work surface. First, divide the dough in half and roll out each half into an oblong rectangle. Spread half of the vegan cheese and half of the vegan bacon bits on the dough in four portions each.
To fold, first place the two outer short edges inward over the filling and then carefully place the two long sides over the filling to close it. Turn the filled pastry roll over to the other side so that the „dough seam“ is at the bottom.
Using the handle of a wooden spoon, lightly press down on the bread roll to make four „Handbrote“ of equal size. Separate the four breads with a knife. Proceed in the same way with the remaining ingredients.
Place the bread on a baking tray covered with baking paper and bake at 200 °C / 390 °F (convection heat) for at least 15 minutes. Top it straight from the oven with vegan yogurt or crème fraîche, finely chopped chives and vegan bacon bits.