Recipe for the Week - Bread8:05:00 am
This has been a dream of mine for a while – to bake my own bread. I’ve read about so many bloggers successfully making their own bread, and that too not just bread; you have multigrain bread, banana bread, walnut loaf and all sorts of complicated stuff!! So, I decided to give it a go, and went about enthusiastically baking my very first loaf. And…it failed. It was this hateful, solid, extremely hard mass. I’m pretty sure I could have hurt someone with it, though I didn’t try ;-).
Don’t worry, this recipe isn’t that, it is my second attempt, and it is something like a combination of bread recipes from two superb food blogs - Aarthi’s Yummy Tummy, and Niya’s Niya’s World. So here we go!!
What you’ll need:
1. 2 cups multigrain flour
2. 1 cup plain flour
3. 1 tsp salt
4. 1 tbsp sugar
5. 1 tbsp dry active yeast (take a fresh packet)
6. 200 + 50 ml warm water
7. 1 tbsp olive oil
8. A little butter and milk for brushing
What you’re going to do:
1. In 50 ml warm water, dissolve 1 tbsp sugar. Add the yeast and leave to rise for 15 min.
2. In a large bowl, put in 200 ml warm water, and dissolve the salt in it. Add the fermented yeast mixture and mix well.
3. Add in the flour a little by little, mixing into the liquid with a metal spoon. You'll end up with a sticky dough.
4. When it can no longer be stirred with a spoon, put in 1 tbsp olive oil and start kneading with your hands. It'll still be sticky, so you won't be able to knead very well. If it seems tough, add some more warm water.
5. Once you get a soft, slightly sticky but pliable dough, transfer it into a large, oiled bowl. The oiling of the bowl is to prevent the dough from sticking to it.
6. Cover the bowl with a wet kitchen towel and allow to rise for 1 hour.
7. After an hour, the dough should have risen to double its volume.
8. Turn out the dough onto a well floured surface, punch it down and knead well, for about 10 minutes. Your arms will ache a bit, but it is all worth a wonderful, light loaf!
9. Put it back into the bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes, covered with the kitchen towel.
10. Take out the dough again, and punch it and knead it once more. Shape it into a loaf and place it into your greased loaf tin. Cover and let it rest for 1 hour.
11. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. After the third rising, this is how the loaf should look like:
12. Brush the top of the loaf with some milk and place the loaf in the oven and bake at 190 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes. The purpose of the milk is to give the loaf a beautiful golden color.
13. Once out of the oven, brush the top of the loaf with a little butter to keep the crust from turning too hard.
Cut into slices and enjoy!!
With Nutella - my favorite topping for practically everything :-)
Believe me, the feeling of baking your own bread is indescribable, even better than baking a cake!! The aroma wafting out of the oven, the feeling of fresh bread in your mouth, the crunchiness of the crust and the softness of the bread, heaven!!
You can also sprinkle sesame or other seeds on top of the loaf prior to baking. I tried flaxseed once:
1. Use a fresh packet of yeast, makes a big difference.
2. The water for the yeast mixture shouldn’t be too hot, just warm.
3. If your yeast didn’t ferment, there’s pretty much no use going ahead. Start again.
4. If the dough seems too tough at the beginning, add warm water – else it won’t rise as well.
5. Wait a bit once the loaf is out of the oven to cut it.
6. Use standard measuring spoons and cups.
I did try this recipe with only multigrain flour, but it didn’t rise well. I’m not sure why that was. I’m still a novice at this, so looks like some experimenting is called for!!