Meat Free Monday One day a week can make a world of difference

Turtle Bread

Mayim Bialik
  • Serves: Makes 1 loaf - serves 4
  • Preparation: 15
  • Cooking: 45
  • Ready: 60

An imaginative and easy bread that kids will love – shaped like a turtle, complete with raisin eyes!


  • 2½ to 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 x 0.25-ounce (7 g) envelope quick-acting active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup almond milk (soy or rice milk works fine, too)
  • 1 tablespoon vegan margarine
  • egg replacer equivalent of 1 egg
  • 2 raisins
  • vegetable or canola oil, for pan


Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Mix 1½ cups of the flour, and the yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.

Place the nondairy milk and margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add ½ cup of water and heat until the margarine has melted, 125° to 130°F. Stir into the dry ingredients. Stir in the egg replacer. Add enough flour by the half-cup to make the dough easy to handle.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Pull off a piece of dough and roll into a 2-inch ball for the head. Shape 5 additional walnut-size pieces of dough into balls for feet and a tail. Shape the remaining dough into a ball for the body. Place the body on the prepared cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Attach the head, feet, and tail by placing an end of each under the edge of the body to secure it. Press the raisins into head for eyes. Cover with a cloth and let rise for 20 minutes.

Make crisscross cuts in the body, ¼-inch deep, to look like a turtle shell. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

This bread freezes well, so make extra batches for defrosting later.

Kitchen Tip

For braided challah-style bread, follow the instructions but braid the dough, using 3 ropes of the same length and thickness. Bake as indicated until golden brown.

Additonal notes

“We have yet to find an easier and faster-to-make bread than this one. The fact that it can be shaped to look like a turtle makes it even better. Kids can help mix it, shape it, and decorate it, and the taste is fantastic, especially considering how little work it requires.”

From Mayim’s Vegan Table: More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours by Mayim Bialik with Dr. Jay Gordon. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

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