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.