This month’s theme for Is My Blog Burning is "I Can’t Believe I Ate Vegan!" (the idea is to trick someone into eating delicious vegan food) but it might as well be called "I Can’t Believe I Ate Dog Food!"
Instead of preparing human vegan food, I fulfilled an unusual order for my bakery, Su Good Sweets. Marlon, a vegan coworker, also has vegan dogs, but he’s dissatisfied with the chemical-laden vegan dog foods on the market. So, he hired me to bake dog food. The steps involved mixing pounds of flour, rolling out the dough and baking it twice. I got to practice my pie crust, biscotti and crouton-making skills all at once.
Well, did Marlon’s dogs know the difference? Yes, but in a good way. Marlon was pleased that the smell wasn’t as strong as conventional dog food, and it kept his dogs’ teeth clean.
Since the dog food was also human grade, I tried the finished product. It’s bland, but I’d snack on it if I were starved: it has a healthy balance of whole grains and protein.
No Soy Kibble
adapted from Vegedog
Makes 3 1/2 days’ worth of food
1/3 cup (2 oz. [80ml/50g]) yeast powder
2 Tbs. (25ml/32g) Vegedog™
4 tsp. (20ml/18g) baking powder
3/4 tsp. (4ml/4g) lecithin granules (picture)
2/3 tsp. (3ml/4g) salt (this could be omitted and replaced with soy sauce)
Thoroughly mix the above ingredients before adding the following ingredients.
6 1⁄2 cups (2 lbs. [1550ml/915g]) whole wheat flour
1 1⁄3 cups (7 oz. [330ml/200g]) vital wheat gluten (75% protein) (picture)
Mix all ingredients together.
1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160ËšC).
2. Add the above dry ingredient mixture to:
1⁄3 cup oil (70ml/65g)
4 cups (700ml) water (as necessary)
1 1⁄2 Tbs (20ml/25g) soy sauce (if salt was omitted from the dry ingredients)
For more flavor: Substitute a sugar-free prepared pasta sauce for the water or add tomato paste along with any necessary water.
3. Stir with a large strong spoon to form soft dough.
4. Flour your hands and counter. Knead the dough well until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into two halves. Roll out each to fit a large cookie sheet (12”x17” [300 x 400mm]). Work the dough into the corners and prick with a fork to prevent bubbles.
Bake for 20 minutes.
5. Turn the sheets and rotate them from top to bottom.
6. Bake for 20 more minutes (don’t brown the edges). Remove from oven.
7. With a large chef’s knife cut each slab into 9-12 parts on a cutting board by cutting horizontally into three strips, and then each vertically 2 or three times. Cut each resulting rectangle into kibble sized pieces (like a miniature checkerboard) by cutting first in one direction, and then the other direction. Toy breeds like small sized pieces, and larger breeds will like much larger pieces.
Hint: a small cushion strip placed on top of your knive can protect your palm as you press down. An auto door edge protector cut to size works well.
8. Place kibble pieces on cookie sheets, breaking apart pieces that stick together.
9. Dry the kibble in a 325°F oven for about half an hour. Hot sunshine works as well. The pieces should be brittle and not yield to finger pressure.
10. Refrigeration is unnecessary for properly dried kibble. Store in covered containers for convenience. Some dogs may prefer kibble slightly coated with mashed vegetables, sauces, and yeast.
Nutrition info: Protein 24.2%, Fat 8.1%.
Thanks to Sam at Becks & Posh for hosting the event!