When first time I had joined some baking groups on FB, I was amazed to see the creativity of bakers. For the first time I was introduced with the concept of “Homebaker”. I knew that many people can bake cake at home in cooker or gas tandoor. But little did I know that homebakrs have a small bakery world in their house.
So I was determined to learn baking. My first cake was a carrot cake and it was a decent one. But the problem in trying different cakes was… that who will eat so much maida(all purpose flour).
So I thought of trying bread!!!! Can someone prepare a bread at home? For a complete non baking person the thought itself was quite challenging!
Is it even possible????
Why not, if others can do it, then why not me!!
I started searching for the blogs and stopped at Sumodtomzcuisines.com, and halved the simplest sandwich bread recipe. To my surprise bread came out really good and perfectly baked. This gave me a lot of encouragement, and slowly from all purpose flour (maida) I shifted to whole wheat flour breads, buns and pizzas. Initially I was baking with active dry yeast, but later I shifted to instant yeast because it’s easy to use.
But getting instant yeast in small quantity is a bit problem and those who are beginner in bread baking don’t want to invest in buying full pack of instant yeast. And quite surprisingly, dry yeast is very much available everywhere, which means that people do use it to bake their breads. So, after a long time I thought to give it a try once again and baked a small loaf with all purpose flour (maida). Bread came out absolutely perfect. After a few days I will try wheat flour bread also with the same active dry yeast.
But for now let’s bake a sandwich bread with active dry yeast…… It’s a small recipe, do try it as a bread loaf or as buns.
1- Active dry yeast is not used directly in the flour.
2- First it is proofed along with sugar in lukewarm water.
3- Don’t start any preparation for bread until your yeast is proofed correctly.
4- Don’t overproof the yeast, otherwise you will get the smell of yeast in your bread.
5- Don’t give up, if yeast is not getting proof in one or two attempts, throw it away, and try again, you can sure do it!
6- For kneading the dough we can use only water or a mix of water and milk.
7- Milk powder is optional, though it keeps the bread soft. But it can be completely omitted – increase maida in the same quantity and knead the dough with milk.
8- It is not necessary that the whole quantity of liquid is used in the flour while kneading. Some flour varieties absorb more moisture and some don’t, so add liquid wisely.
9- Don’t slice bread after it cools down. For tight crumb keep the loaf cling wrapped in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
All purpose flour (maida) 2+1/2 cups
Active dry yeast 1+1/2tsp
Milk powder 1/8 cup
Butter /oil 1tsp
Milk/water 1+1/4 cup +2tbsp
Take one big dry and clean glass and put yeast and sugar in it. Take 1/3 cup of lukewarm water (not additional – from the whole quantity of water provided in this recipe) and pour into the glass and mix it with a spoon. Make sure that water should not be cold nor hot otherwise yeast will not proof. It should be slightly more than lukewarm, but be careful not to make it hot. Water should not reach upto the brim of glass – there should be enough empty space for proofing the yeast.
Cover the glass and keep it inside the oven. Oven should be switched off.
Within 5-7 minutes yeast will be proofed, as bubbles would be visible on the top of the glass. Don’t let the yeast over proof, otherwise bread will be having the smell of yeast.
Now in a big vessel take maida, salt and add ready yeast.
Start kneading the dough by adding little quantity of water. Make sure that the dough should be softer than chapati dough – so it would be slightly sticky. But don’t worry, just keep on kneading for 10 minutes. Now add butter/oil and continue kneading for 5 more minutes. By now dough with be very smooth.
Grease one big bowl with oil and keep the dough in it and brush oil on the dough to avoid drying it.
Cover the bowl with cling film and keep it inside the oven (switched off) till the dough becomes double for first proofing. Mark the vessel to know easily where dough should reach after it becomes double. ( Check the picture for refrence here.Maida Spinach Buns)
Generally first proofing takes 1 hour, but if your kitchen is very cold it might take longer time, so don’t set a time limit, instead watch carefully – when your dough becomes double, it’s first proofing is over.
Apply some oil on the kitchen counter and keep the dough here and punch it slightly.
Spread or roll the dough in rectangular shape and start rolling it tightly. Make a tight roll.
At the end there will be rough edges.
Pinch the edges and seam all the edges tightly.
Grease the tin with oil and by keeping the seam side at the bottom of the tin, place the dough carefully into the tin.
Brush up some oil/butter on the top of the dough and cover it with a vessel or a next sized bigger bread tin and keep it inside the oven (switched off) for second and final proofing.
Second proofing gets over fast – within 15 to 20 minutes. But again it will depend whether your kitchen is hot or cold.
Just 10 minutes before second proofing is getting over, take out the tin from the oven and preheat oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes and then remove the cover from the bread tin and brush the loaf with milk.
Keep it in the preheated oven and bake at 185 degrees for 30-40 minutes. After 30 minutes, tap the bread; if it sounds hollow, it is baked and if it doesn’t sound hollow, bake for some more time.
Once baking is done, take out the bread from the tin after 10/15 minutes and keep it on a cooling rack.Brush up loaf with salted butter. It will give nice shine and will keep the top of the bread soft. If your oven is small in size, heat will too much for the loaf and probably it will start getting brown very quickly and till the end of the baking time top of the bread will be quite dark in colour and hard. To avoid that, after 15/20 minutes of baking cover the loaf (not tin) with almuniun foil and continue baking.
When tin cools down to touch take out the bread and keep it on a cooling rack. If you will leave bread in the tin for longer time, steam at the bottom will make it soggy.
Once bread cools down completely, wrap it into cling wrap and keep it in the fridge for 3-4 hours. Later cut the slices with a sharp serrated knife and feel proud on your first successful homemade bread!!!!!!