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Lean Pastry — Lean Orange Cake

If everything is more or less clear with lean soups, vegetable stews and cereals, then lean dough and generally lean pastry raises many questions.

The famous baker Alyona Spirina tried to answer the main ones.

To understand how to make lean pastries really tasty, let’s look at how the quality of the dough is affected by the products that we lack in Fast, and vegans always.

How their absence affects the quality of finished products, and how this absence can be compensated for.


It is about 80% fat and 20% water. Thanks to butter, the dough becomes moist, layered and voluminous. In addition, it is responsible for loosening: butter is perfectly driven in if we prepare the dough for cupcakes, and sandy dough becomes crumbly, including due to steam, which is formed when water evaporates from the oil.

And no other fat will give the dough the taste and texture, which is obtained by using butter.

The closest, but not the healthiest alternative — margarine. If you are a categorical opponent of this product, then only the usual liquid vegetable oil remains. What is not so bad, although it contains neither water, nor air, nor emulsifiers, which contribute to the retention of a large volume of air, and therefore cannot affect the loosening of the dough.

But vegetable oil perfectly envelops the flour, not allowing gluten to develop excessively. Yes, shortbread dough mixed in vegetable oil will not be as layered and fragrant as creamy, but remains crumbly and soft.

And you can loosen it with baking powder.


They are responsible for the formation of the structure of certain types of dough, are practically the only ingredient that contains both a significant amount and thickeners (proteins), and baking powder (fat and emulsifiers). In addition, eggs can be whipped to enrich the dough with air.

And eggs do not allow water to separate from fats.

But we do not have eggs, so for now we will have to forget about the lush biscuits. But the cupcakes are quite accessible to us, if you know how you can compensate for the lack of emulsifiers and baking powder.

It is necessary to create an emulsion forcibly, as in an acetic salad dressing: mix vegetable oil with an acidic liquid, for example, with fruit juice or coffee, syrup from jam or fruit puree.

If prescription cupcake you need to take a couple of eggs, try replacing them with ripe bananas, taking as much by weight: two eggs — 100-110 g of banana.

Just add not just a banana mashed with a fork, but whisk it with vegetable oil in the bowl of a blender or food processor: you will see what a stable emulsion will work out!


Often lean pastries seems too sweet.

This is not surprising, because sugar, honey, jam have to compensate for the lack of butter and eggs.

Sugar not only softens the structure of the dough, but also attracts water, protecting it from excessive development of gluten. The more sugar you add to the dough, the softer it will turn out.

If sugar is not enough, the structure of the dough will not be formed properly, and the dough will either not rise, or rise and settle.

And sugar keeps the finished product moisture, making it soft and protecting it from staling.


The easiest way to prepare a lean yeast dough: it is excellent and completely without baking, and with a minimum of it in the form of a good vegetable oil and, if necessary, sugar.

And so that the surface of the cake was ruddy and shiny, grease it with strong tea before baking and vegetable oil — after.

With a crumbly dough for pies, everything is also simple: it is enough to mix an equal amount of vegetable oil and water and pour about twice as much flour, to which salt, baking powder and, for sweet pies, sugar are added.

Just do not knead the dough until smooth, it can become rough.

The most difficult thing is with the cupcakes. Try to find a recipe for a cake that you generally like, and change it according to circumstances: use another liquid, try playing with the taste of butter, add a variety of additives: nuts, dried fruits, candied fruits, spices and spices.

Or pour the cake dough into slices of fruit — apples, pineapples, oranges — it will turn out like a charlotte.

I recommend the recipe for lean (vegana cupcake from a book Joy of cooking American housewives guru Irma Rombauer.

What do you need:

  • 210 g of wheat flour
  • 250 ml orange juice
  • 190 g sugar (you can subtract 2 tablespoons)
  • 80 g of vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. grated orange peel
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp drinking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla tincture or vanilla sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • shape size 20×20 cm or brick

What to do:
Mix flour, sugar, zest, soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Separately mix orange juice, oil and vinegar.

Combine the flour mixture with the liquid, knead the dough until smooth.

Lubricate the form with oil or cover with baking paper.

Put the dough into shape, smooth it.

Bake at 180 ° C for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out dry. Cool in the form on the grid for 10 minutes.

Then turn the cupcake over and remove the paper.

Turn the cupcake over again and cool it completely on the wire rack.

Other recipes Alena Spirinoy:

Cranberry Jam

Alena Spirina advises to immediately cook cranberry jam, then to cook on its basis cranberry sauce, which is ideally combined with meat dishes.

See below.

Vegetable broth

My acquaintance with the culinary phenomenon called «vegetable broth» occurred at a time when no one had heard about the Internet ..

See below.

Cranberry Sauce

On the basis of cranberry jam in a few minutes you can make an excellent sauce based on English cumberland, which is ideal for roast beef.

See below.

Couscous with vegetables

Couscous appeared in our stores recently, ten years ago, together with another foreign grocery — polenta, bulgur, quinoa, amaranth.

See below.

Drunk cherry cake

About 30 years ago, Alena Spirina, being a very young, but already inquisitive cook, mastered the preparation of a cake called Drunk Cherry in Chocolate.

See below.

Eggplant with cheese

Recently, baking has become my favorite way of preparing eggplants.

At home — on a baking sheet in the oven, if possible — on an open fire See below.

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