Zero waste baking with homemade oat milk. (Baking with oat milk pulp.)
Baking can be a challenging task, zero waste baking even more so, but zero waste baking with homemade oat milk is actually enjoyable!
As an eco-conscious person, I have been consciously reducing our use of single use plastic at home and find home baking is a way forward. When you start to couple that with zero waste baking it can become a wholly positive and environmentally friendly way of providing treats for the family.
Now I am not perfect and still have a long way to go on my zero waste and plastic free journeys, but when I’m consciously trying hard and making my best choices, I am proud of the steps we have taken and of the results we produce. I hope this will help you along a step of your journey too.
Why zero waste baking?
Most snacks and cakes now come packaged in plastic, or in a box with plastic inside, or even worse come individually wrapped. Home baking allows us to make more choices about our consumerism: refill ingredients, organic ingredients, vegan ingredients, locally sourced and so on. We have control over what we are bringing into our homes and our stomachs!
Recently we started to reduce our dairy intake at home in an effort to lower our carbon footprint. During this time, and as part of my research for my food and shopping consultancies, I delved into the facts and figures behind plant milk. My own conclusion led me to choose oat milk for us. As a crop oats seemed to have a low environmental impact in terms of water and deforestation and can be produced in many countries. Compared to the other plant based milk options this became the top choice for me. Now oatmilk is easy to obtain, the milk man will bring it (in glass now too!) and the supermarkets stock it. For me, the obvious choice was to make it at home – dirt cheap and no plastic or tetra pack in sight. Why am I telling you about oat milk? Because it is the main ingredient for our zero waste home baking in one way or another.
The joy of homemade oatmilk.
So during dinner this week, I found out we were low on milk. At the same time I wanted to do some baking. On went the blender and soon I had whizzed up two pints of creamy milk.
First on my baking list, and the reason for needing milk, was a hot cross bun loaf (the day before Good Friday. Plus I love it for breakfast ). So instead of using normal milk, in went some oat milk. This got me thinking that you could easily make this into a vegan loaf by using vegan spread and either omitting the egg or using an egg alternative. Of course oat milk reduces the calorie count too. I’ll pop the recipe on at the bottom for if you want it. I use the bread maker recipe from WhatCharlotteBaked, but i only make a half quantity and this fills my loaf tin. I also don’t bother with the crosses on the top!
What to do with the pulp.
As I’ve mentioned I love making homemade oat milk and I love zero waste home baking, but how do the two link? Well, making oat milk means having oat pulp left over. I don’t want to just throw this away, although I suspect the big oat milk companies probably do. My pulp is normally still quite wet and it’s a great addition to many things. On this particular baking day I added the pulp to my favourite oaty flapjack recipe by allrecipes. I followed the normal recipe, popped in the pulp and some cocoa nibs from the local refill shop and baked it. A wonderful soft and wholesome flapjack!
On other occasions I have added the pulp to the bread maker for our standard loaf. I make bread at home at least once a week (my son rejects it in favour of shop bought). I am the main bread eater and making our own loaf has reduced our bread bag usage dramatically. So I add the ingredients to the bread machine, reduce the water by 2floz (might vary but how much and how wet your pulp is) and whizz it up. I only use the dough setting as I like the loaf baked in the oven to avoid the hole!
My true favourite use is oatmeal cookies though! And there are some great recipes for cookies with oatmilk pulp out there on the old Web. Although i tend to just add it to my usual cookie recipe and miss out the milk!
Hope you enjoy experimenting with homemade oatmilk and baking with both the milk and the pulp. I’d love to know how you get on.
Bread Maker hot cross bun recipe:
All credit to WhatCharlotteBaked
For the bread
300 ml milk
75 g unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
250 g plain or all-purpose flour
250 g strong plain bread flour
50 g light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Zest of one large orange
Zest of one lemon
2 teaspoons dried yeast suitable for breadmakers
175 g sultanas
175 g raisins
25 g mixed peel
For the decoration
2 tablespoons plain or all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons milk
tablespoons apricot jam
Place the milk, melted butter, and beaten egg into the bowl of your bread machine. Add the flour, sugar, salt, spices, and zest on top of the liquid. You will also need to add the yeast to the bowl, or to the yeast dispenser if your bread maker has one.
Set the bread maker to a setting where it will mix and rise the dough, without baking it. Leave the bread maker to work until the dough is well risen. Whilst you are waiting, line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
Remove the dough from the machine and place on a well floured surface. Knead the sultanas, raisins, and mixed peel into the dough. Place the dough into the pre-lined loaf tin and cover with a piece of lightly oiled clingfilm or plastic wrap. Leave somewhere warm to rise for one hour.
About half an hour before the dough will be ready, preheat the oven to 200°C / 390°F (180°C fan). To make the batter for the decoration, place the flour and milk into a small bowl and mix together well until you have a thick paste. Spoon this batter into a piping bag and set aside.
Once the dough has almost doubled in size, remove the clingfilm or plastic wrap from the top of the loaf. Pipe a cross pattern on
top of the loaf with the batter, and then place the loaf in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.
Once the loaf has finished baking, remove from the tin fairly quickly and place on a wire rack. Heat the apricot jam in the microwave for 20 seconds or so, and then brush over the top of the warm loaf. Leave to cool completely.