When you were baking as a non-vegan, it was so tempting to lick the bowl afterwards, even though we knew it could make us sick. Still, we kept doing it. Because it was so frickin’ yummy! Nowadays I hear a lot of vegans say they can finally safely eat raw dough or batter, because it doesn’t contain raw egg. Should be totally safe, right?
Wrong. Whilst eating raw egg can be dangerous because of salmonella, there is the bacteria E.coli which can be found in flour. As the NHS explains, “Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a type of bacteria common in human and animal intestines, and forms part of the normal gut flora. (…) There are a number of different types of E. coli and while the majority are harmless some can cause serious food poisoning and serious infection.” (source)
Flour usually isn’t treated to kill E. coli, which means that licking the whisk after mixing the batter might not be the best idea (even though it’s so, so good!). Can someone explain to me why raw dough and batter just taste so much better than the end result?
At best, food poisoning by means of E. coli can give you severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhoea that may be bloody.—www.nhs.uk
At best, food poisoning by means of E. coli can give you severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhoea that may be bloody. But it could be life-threatening: according to the NHS, “a (…) life-threatening complication called haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) may develop in 5-10% of people infected with a toxin-producing form of E. coli. This is a severe kidney-related complication that may, in extreme cases, lead to renal failure and the need for renal replacement therapy” (source). Uhm, no thanks!
The easy way to kill the E. coli bacteria in your flour is by simply heating it.
So the bad news is we shouldn’t be eating raw dough or batter. Does this mean we can never have our beloved cookie dough anymore? Absolutely not! The easy way to kill the E. coli bacteria in your flour is by simply heating it. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and spread the amount of flour you need on a non stick baking tray. Put in the centre of the oven for 5 minutes. It’s an extra step, but it’ll ensure you can lick that bowl clean without worrying about food poisoning. Totally worth it! And perfect for cookie dough recipes, too! Speaking of… Here’s a cookie dough recipe I developed using “toasted” flour!
Safe to eat cookie dough
Delicious cookie dough that you can eat without worrying about food poisoning!
- 150 g white flour
- 70 g light brown soft sugar
- 1 tbsp plant based milk (I prefer oat milk)
- 60 g room temperature vegan butter
- Toppings of your liking (e.g. chocolate chips, sprinkles, raisins, dried fruit)
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Spread the amount of flour on a non stick baking tray. Bake the flour for 5 minutes.
- Leave the flour to cool. Mix with the sugar.
- Stir in the plant based milk and vegan butter.
- Stir in the toppings of your liking and mix well.
- That’s it! Enjoy on its own, or with some vegan vanilla ice-cream for some fake B&J vibes.
- Consume within 3 days.