When I announced that I would be adding 5 traditional German recipes to the cookbook, including a recipe for vegan Zwiebelkuchen, one of my Kickstarter backers wrote to me with a special request.
His birthday is tomorrow and he asked if I’d share the Zwiebelkuchen recipe earlier so he could make it and serve it with traditional Federweißer (“new wine”) for a birthday party. I told him I’d get to work on testing and finishing the recipe and would get it to him today. I made it last night and it turned out even better than I hoped!
Zwiebelkuchen is sort of like a cross between French quiche and Italian thick-crust pizza, but it’s also reminiscent of German Flammkuchen, which has a thinner crust and less toppings. This is a tasty savoury cake which actually has a lot less onion flavor than one might expect. The result is a delicious and hearty meal which stirs memories. It takes some time and involves a lot of steps, but it’s well worth the effort!
German Zwiebelkuchen – Savory cake w/ onions & smoked tofu
Serves 4 to 6 / time 60+ min
- 3 cups / 375 g flour
- 1 cup / 240 ml water
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 Tbsn olive oil
- Mix 1/2 cup warm water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl.
- Measure flour and salt into a large bowl. While mixing, slowly add yeast water and gradually add rest of water and oil. Combine well and knead smooth, about 5-7 min.
- Cover and allow to rise for 1 to 2 hours in warm place.
- 4 cups / 450 g onions and/or leeks chopped
- 100 g smoked tofu diced very small
- 2 Tbsn olive oil
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper ground
- 200 g tofu
- 1 cup / 240 ml soy milk
- 1/4 cup / 30 g cashews ground
- 3 Tbsn nutritional yeast flakes
- 3 Tbsn chickpea flour
- 2 Tbsn soy flour or cornstarch
- 2 Tbsn lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg ground
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Heat oil on medium heat in a large pot. Add chopped onions, paprika, pepper. Saute 5 min, stirring regularly. Add diced smoked tofu, continue to saute until onions are transparent, about 5-7 min.
- Blend tofu and soy milk in a food processor or blender until smooth.
- In large bowl combine ground cashews, yeast flakes, chickpea flour, and soy flour. Add lemon juice, zest, turmeric, rosemary, nutmeg, salt, and blended tofu mixture. Whisk smooth.
- Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C / level 6.
- Line a baking tray with waxed paper or grease pan with oil. Knead dough a few times and spread or roll out evenly and thinly across pan. Pinch or turn up edges to be slightly thicker to contain filling.
- Spread half of onion filling across dough. Pour tofu mixture evenly across filling and then spread rest of filling and perhaps more chopped onions on top.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and top of cake is golden brown. Remove from oven, allow to cool.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and ground pepper and serve!
Sunflower seeds: Use ground sunflower seeds or other nuts if desired. Flour: Use regular flour instead of chickpea flour. Other herbs: Experiment with thyme, ground coriander, sage, ground caraway seeds or other spices in your filling – or crust!