Remember King’s Hawaiian Bread, you know, this stuff? If you’re vegan and used to love Hawaiian bread, you’ll know that it’s full of eggs, which makes creating a vegan version quite difficult. I really enjoyed it before I became vegan, and didn’t even try to make an egg-free version because, so many eggs.
But things have changed! We have Aquafaba now. Chickpea brine whips up to fluffy meringue, and it can also be used in some applications as an egg replacer. I experimented with making a vegan Hawaiian bread recipe, initially wary of replacing so many eggs, but it worked out perfectly! This bread has a soft, tender golden crust, with a sweet, fluffy interior. It’s just like the real thing, so make some now and enjoy your favorite pre-vegan treats!
Making Hawaiian bread is actually quite simple. You make a sweet, fluffy bread flavored with pineapple juice and a little bit of ginger, let it rise like any other bread, and pull a pan of perfection out of the oven a couple of hours later. I used pineapple nectar instead of juice because buying an asceptic box was more straightforward and economical than draining the juice from a can of pineapple, and the nectar was sweeter and a little thicker. And since aquafaba can also be used as an “egg” wash, you’ll get that golden sheen on any baked good if you brush on some aquafaba before baking.
Homemade Vegan Hawaiian Bread (King’s Hawaiian Bread)
Makes 1 tray of bread
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons aquafaba
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
3 1/2-4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup melted vegan margarine
Pour 1/3 cup aquafaba into a stand mixer equipped with a balloon whisk, or a large bowl. Keep the remaining 2 tablespoons refrigerated, as we’ll be using that as an “egg” wash later before baking.
Add a splash of the pineapple juice to the aquafaba (the acidity will help the aquafaba foam). Start whipping the aquafaba in your stand mixer, or by hand with a whisk until a thick foam forms (see image to the left). You don’t want to whip it all the way to meringue, but it should appear to be a stable foam.
Continue whipping while gradually adding the remaining pineapple juice, sugar, ginger, vanilla, and active dry yeast, alternating between the juice and sugar. Add 1 cup of the flour. Whip to combine everything.
Switch to a dough hook, or a wooden spoon if you’re mixing the dough by hand. Gradually add 2 more cups of the flour, kneading or mixing after each addition. Gradually pour in the melted margarine as you mix (fat kills aquafaba foam, so don’t add the margarine until after you’ve added flour and formed a dough). Add the remaining flour, forming a soft dough. Knead in the stand mixer, or turn out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is combined. You don’t want to overknead this dough. It will be soft and a little sticky, but not wet.
Transfer the dough to a lightly-oiled bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, punch down the dough and lightly knead. It’s okay if it didn’t rise much. It will rise more the second time, and become fluffy in the oven. Break off golf ball-sized pieces of dough, roll into a ball, and place in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all of the dough is gone. Make sure there is some space between each ball of dough because it will expand. Cover and let rise for 1 hour more.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the towel or plastic wrap from the pan. Take your reserved 2 tablespoons of aquafaba and brush aquafaba over each roll to create a sheen. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden.