Whey Cool

So, after making your cheese, you’ve got a big pitcher full of this strange, yellowish whey and I’m sure you’re wondering, “Well, now what do I do with this stuff?”

How about making a loaf of bread, for starters?  Simple enough, as any bread can be made with leftover whey- Just replace the water in an equal amount, and it should work as well, taste as good, but have a nice nutritional bonus.  Additionally, I’ve found that it makes for a softer, more tender loaf, just like whole soymilk would too.  Of course I had to make a whole new recipe for bread just to see this in action, but don’t fret if you don’t have any whey to make it; the inverse of my suggestion is true, and you could use water instead.

Should you find yourself with even more whey, (and you probably will, since 4 cups of soymilk yield only 1 cup of solids) there are still plenty of ways to make use of it!  Try making sauerkraut with it, using it in marinades that might otherwise call for water, soaking beans and grains in it (the enzymes help to make both more easily digestible), feeding it to your plants, and if all else fails, feeding it to the dog.  Some people have suggested sweetening plain whey and just drinking it straight… But I might suggest blending it into a flavorful smoothie instead, as the whey isn’t exactly a delight for the taste buds all by itself.

In the mean time, how about a bread that will go beautifully with the cheese spread that the whey came from?  Flecks of caramelized onions add a unique sweetness to this undeniably savory loaf, complimenting the wholesome grains that support them.  Excellent for sandwiches, toast, and eating plain, you may find that excess whey isn’t a problem when it can go into this recipe!

Onion Whey Bread

2 Tablespoons Margarine
1 Medium Sweet Onion, Chopped
1 Cup Whey
1 1/2 Teaspoons Granulated Sugar
1 Package Active Dry Yeast
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 – 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Oat Flour

Set a skillet over medium heat and melt the margarine.  Add in the onion, reduce the heat, and allow it to cook gently until golden brown and nicely caramelized, about 20 minutes or so.  Let the onion cool before proceeding.

In the mean time, combine the whey and sugar, and heat for just 1 minute in the microwave to warm it through, but not get it hot.  Sprinkle in the yeast, and allow 5 – 10 minutes for it to reactivate and become frothy.

In your stand mixer with the hook attachment installed, stir together the salt, whole wheat flour, 1 cup of the AP flour, and the oat flour. Mix in the caramelized onion pieces and coat them thoroughly with the flour before pouring in the whey mixture. Stir well, and add in more AP flour as needed, and continue mixing until you achieve a smooth and tacky but not sticky dough. Kneed for about 10 minutes by hand on a floured surface before placing it in a lightly oiled bowl and letting it rise for 1 – 2 hours, until doubled in volume.

Press the dough out gently but firmly with your knuckles, and shape it into a rough rectangle. Roll up the rectangle so that it is as long as an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan. Lightly grease the loaf pan, and place your dough inside, seam-side down. Let rise again for another 1 hour or so, until it’s just about peeking over the edge of the pan.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until nicely browned on the outside. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then on a wire wrack for at least 30 before slicing.

Printable Recipe

37 thoughts on “Whey Cool

  1. how totally cool !

    any ideas if this would work as well with an Okara bread ?

    I was soooo happy when I found a recipe that would keep me from throwing away too much Okara from making my own soymilk…

    oh, wait…. would that mean, that I can use what’s left from making tofu as well… or wouldn’t that be whey ?

    Gosh, I just love your inventiveness (and both my boys would marry you like right now… yes, your book has just arrived )

    Hugs, KiKi

  2. What a fabulous whey to jazz up a bread :) This bread looks fantastic. I really need to get into the kitchen to make some cheeeese, so that I too can have not only your yummy spread, but also this delicious bread to put it on. The bread looks so tender!

  3. That’s a cool idea. I’ve made ricotta cheese a few times from milk that is starting to sour. I felt bad pouring all that whey down the drain, but I didn’t know what to do with it.

  4. We make chappathis a lot here (an Indian flatbread) and I use whey for the dough, but never thought of using it for bread! Can’t think why? :) Now I shall. The bread looks wonderful, Hannah.

  5. Ooooh, brilliant! Whey bread to spread the cheese on – you’re a genius.

    Oh, and the cupcakes were seriously awesome, despite my changes. I’ll have to make them *properly* soon to see how wonderful they can be!

  6. Whey would be enough reason to make cheese except fresh home made cheese is a marvel of a bonus. Sometimes I don’t know it I make cheese for the cheese or the whey. Whey freezes very well except I usually use it up baking bread with it long before it could go bad.
    Great bread.

  7. Only one person mentioned April Fool’s???
    I’m surprised how many non-vegans read this blog! That’s a good thing though!

  8. Ok, I feel stupid. Just saw that you meant the whey from your soy cottage cheese!
    Very cool! I never even realized there were such things as soy curds and whey!

  9. Now I know where the curds and whey came from in the old time nursery rhyrme Little Miss Muffett sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey, when along came a spider and sat down beside her and frightened Miss Muffett away.

    Have made the cheese and bread. Scrumptious.

  10. I make my own yogurt, and have lots of whey leftover after straining (to get a thick yogurt). I’d love to try this recipe and see how it is- I usually pour it down the sink!

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