On weekday mornings I rarely have more than 15 minutes to make and eat breakfast, so whenever I can wrangle something fast and filling I’m a happy gal. This Whole Wheat Chorizo-Onion Bread is an excellent example of such a meal. With a little forethought in the form of weekend baking, this satisfying bread makes breakfast a cinch – even when you’re short on time.
The chorizo I grew up eating is a Spanish sausage that hails from Catalonia and is usually made from lean pork, garlic, paprika, red bell peppers and chili flakes. In my pre-vegetarian childhood days, my mom would often sauté a cut of chorizo with a side of scrambled eggs for breakfast – a combination that still evokes fond memories when I hear she’s making it at home. Of course nowadays authentic chorizo is off-limits on my menu, but that doesn’t mean I can’t relish a vegetarian alternative, complete with the smoky chorizo flavor and characteristic heat. The recipe for vegetarian chorizo below is adapted from one of our all-time favorite breakfast cookbooks, The Good Enough to Eat Breakfast Cookbook. It’s out of print, but if you ever see it in a used bookstore or can find a reasonably priced copy online, buy it. There is a reason the current going price on Amazon.com is $50 – no one is selling this gem.
You can serve vegetarian chorizo with a side of scrambled eggs or even take the scrambled eggs and make a breakfast burrito with refried beans and chorizo. Each of these alternatives is delicious, but on a weekday morning I prefer a slice of pre-made Whole Wheat Chorizo-Onion Bread. While the coffee brews I simply slice off a piece, then warm it up in a toaster oven set to 350 degrees F for about 8 minutes. By the time it’s ready to eat my cup of coffee is ready to drink – perfect timing, if you ask me.
The dough for this bread is the same one I use to make my Three Cheese Broccoli Calzones. It’s an easy dough to work with and as you can see, has more than one application! If you like this recipe you may also want to check out this Baked Sandwich Surprise, which is a scrumptious loaf of bread stuffed with mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, zucchini, shredded carrots and mozzarella, among other yummy things. I like to take slices of this bread to work.
Slightly adapted from The Good Enough to Eat Breakfast Book, by Carrie Levin
Note that the chorizo needs to “age” for 2 days and that you will need a mortar and pestle.
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 12 ounces Yves Veggie Ground Meat (found at Whole Foods and most health food stores)
- 1 tablespoon + 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, divided use
- 2 large eggs
Put the garlic, cumin and peppercorns into the mortar and mash to a paste with the pestle. Transfer the paste to a separate bowl, drizzle in the vinegar, add the chili powder and veggie meat, and mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for 48 hours.
After the chorizo has aged, mix 2 large eggs into the chorizo. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and cook the chorizo, stirring constantly, until it looks like ground beef, about 5 minutes.
You can serve the chorizo with scrambled eggs on the side, or combine the two into a breakfast burrito. You can also make it into a loaf of Whole Wheat Chorizo-Onion Bread, instructions below.
Whole Wheat Chorizo-Onion Bread (My recipe)
For the dough:
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Olive oil for brushing the dough
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups vegetarian chorizo
For the filling:
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer combine the warm water, yeast, whole-wheat flour and 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour. Mix with a whisk, then allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Add the salt and olive oil and mix to combine. Now add the remaining all-purpose flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing between additions with a wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment of your mixer. When the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl dust with flour and turn out onto a lightly-floured surface to knead by hand. Knead for 4 minutes, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking. The dough is ready to rise when it is smooth and springy. It will be relatively soft compared to other bread doughs. Shape into a ball and transfer to a large bowl that has been greased with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Turn the dough to coat, then cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled in volume.
** Note: If you are preparing the dough a day in advance, after rising gently deflate the dough and place it in a large, lightly oiled airtight container. Press a large piece of plastic wrap directly on the dough to prevent it from forming a crust. Seal the container with the lid and place in the fridge. The next day, allow the dough to come to room temperature before proceeding, which usually takes about 40 minutes if you place the dough in a warm place.
In a small skillet heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sauté the diced onion over medium heat until tender and light golden brown in color, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Gently deflate the dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. If it is too sticky to handle, dust with a small amount of flour, just until you can shape the dough without it sticking to your work surface. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 14×17 inch rectangle. Evenly spread the cooked onion and chorizo over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Make sure the long edge of the dough is parallel to you.
Standing parallel to the length of the dough, gently grab the bottom edge and begin to roll it up jelly-roll fashion, working away from you, to form a long, tight loaf. Pinch the edges of the dough together with your fingers to seal the dough, then coil the dough around itself into a spiral, tucking the outside end under and pressing it against the body of the loaf. Carefully transfer the loaf to a greased 9-inch spring-form pan.
Brush the dough with olive oil, cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly brush the top of the dough with oil again and bake in the center of the oven until brown and firm to the touch, about 45 to 55 minutes.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove the sides and bottom of the pan and cool the bread on a wire rack (this is essential to prevent residual heat from making the bottom of the bread soggy). Serve warm or at room temperature. You can store this bread in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic, for up to 4 days. Don’t put the bread in the fridge until it has cooled completely.
Warm up slices in a 350 degree F toaster oven or oven for 5-10 minutes.