Thursday, October 3, 2013

Vegan Oktoberfest

Now that we're a few days into October, I can share some Oktoberfest recipes! I was invited to an Oktoberfest themed party last weekend by some kickball friends. They have a lovely backyard, it reminds me of a Target commercial. Since I knew they were not going to plan ahead to feed a vegan, I woke up early Saturday morning and started cooking. I made the German chocolate cake from Chloe's Vegan Desserts, making the frosting and then the cakes. While they were cooling, I started the dough for German-style pretzels using this Oh, LadyCakes recipe. The dough was super sticky, even with 4.5 cups of flour and lots of flour on the table when rolling them out. It had rained that morning, so I think it was too humid in my apartment for dough. The recipe calls for dipping the pretzels into boiling soda water, which is how the pretzels get their color and crunchy crust. I tried 3 different ways to get my sticky pretzels into the water, but they all resulted in blobs. I decided to take some of the boiling soda water into a bowl and brush it on the tops of the remaining pretzels before baking them. They did turn brown on top, but in spots instead of uniformly, and my holes baked closed. They were SO delicious fresh out of the oven. I seriously considered not bringing them to the party. I saved a few for the party to show my non-vegan friends that every food possible can be veganized (even though most bagged pretzels and Super Pretzels are already vegan). While the dough was in the first rise, I made warm German potato salad. I found a recipe in the Google Books preview feature in 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe. The recipe calls for tempeh bacon, but I decided to use Upton's Natural new seitan bacon. I had tried the bacon at Austin VegFest, so I knew it would taste fine. I put all the cooked ingredients together and stored them in the fridge, but chose to dress the dish at the party so the potatoes would not get soggy. I covered the big bowl with my cover from Hello Kiddo Handmade, which is usually a good conversation starter. I noticed at the end of the night that the potato salad and the cake were almost gone, maybe one serving of each! There was half of a pretzel left too. In order to save my sanity after a full morning in the kitchen, I brought Tofurky beer brats for the grill. I served my brat on a wheat bun with a little stone-ground mustard and sauerkraut. I didn't load up on mustard and sauerkraut because I'm slowly learning to like bitter flavors. I wish I had added more sauerkraut though. Now go celebrate your own Vegan Oktoberfest with these recipes or attend the real deal with new vegan options being served!
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