Long time back I read an article in newspaper regarding wheat flour bread in Bangalore bakeries. That time I didn’t know much about bread baking but according to the article bakery baked wheat flour breads are actually not made from whole wheat flour. And even some popular brands in breads cheat customers with their wheat flour bread. Wheat flour breads are not very popular, so very few selected bakeries bake them on customer’s demand only and they are costly too.
Don’t know about the authenticity of the article, but when I started learning baking bread myself, I learnt about the difference of bakery bread and homebaked bread. You can read the ingredients of store bread on the pack and now see what ingredients you are using to get a homebaked loaf….. Flour, water/milk, yeast, butter/oil, salt and suger….that’s all…..so choice is completely yours!!
I guess that for the last one year I didn’t buy my breads and buns from the market!
Baking all purpose flour or maida bread gives us immense confidence in the process of baking homebaked bread, and after learning successfully white sandwich bread you automatically move to bake wheat flour bread.
But again second step should be to try first half maida and half wheat flour bread. And finally you can switch over completely to wheat flour bread.
(In my blog there are recipes with all purpose flour breadWhite Sandwich Bread and mix flour bread tooBread with wheat flour along with all purpose flour (maida)).
To bake wheat flour bread, the best flour is if you get your own milled flour. In Jaipur, my home town, when wheat crops are ready in the nearby villages, farmers come to Jaipur to sell wheat. That time my parents buy wheat for whole year. My father used to take 20 kg wheat every month to get it grinded for flour to the nearby mill.
Once in Bangalore I tried to replicate the same and bought wheat. When I opened the pack, wheat had holes and inside the holes were dead insects….. which means that it was completely laced with pesticide.
After that I am always buying packed Ashirwad Aata, though not sure about the quality of packed packs also.
The recipe which I have given here will give you a very small loaf.
As a beginner you can try this recipe, and later can go for bigger loaves.
Before we start the process of baking, remember some tips for baking bread.
Wheat flour absorbes more liquid than all purpose flour (maida).
Don’t follow blindly the quantity of liquid given in the recipe because the absorbing quality of your wheat flour might be different than mine.
In the same way timing for proofing the dough might not be the same for you as given in the recipe. If my kitchen has cold temperature, proofing will take more time compared to a warm kitchen. So if your dough has doubled in 50 minutes, start with the next process.
Don’t be lazy for kneading the dough.
Buy one serrated bread cutting knife, you will get beautiful slices!
Bread can be baked in microwave also on convection mode.
Wheat flour 2 cups (250ml cup)
Milk powder 2 tbsp
Instant active yeast 1/2 tsp
Sugar 2 tsp
Oil/butter 1+1/2 tbsp
Water milk mix 1+1/4 cup
I have used 7 by 3 inch bread tin.
Except water milk mix, all ingredients should be on room temperature.
In a big broad vessel add all dry ingredients.
Prepare half water half milk mix…it should be slightly warm. You can use only water to knead the dough but my preference is always 50:50 milk water ratio. Milk helps to keep the bread soft.
Now slowly start pouring this mix in dry ingredients and prepare dough. Do not use whole water given in the recipe now. We just need to collect all dry ingredients and prepare dough. You still have enough liquid to knead this dough.
Start kneading the dough by pouring little quantity of water. While kneading, you will notice that dough keeps becoming hard because wheat absorbes a lot of liquid. So keep on adding one tbsp at a time and continue kneading for 15-20 minutes. This dough will be sticky; so keep on greasing your palms with oil or butter.
After 15-20 minutes of kneading, dough will be very smooth – add some oil/butter.
Place this in an oil greased bowl, apply some oil on top of the dough to avoid it drying and cling wrap the bowl.
Keep this bowl at some warm place for first proofing/till the dough doubles in size. If my kitchen is cold then I keep this dough in switched off microwave.
Proofing time is never fixed. If your kitchen is cold, it will proof in 1 hour to 1+1/2 hour but during summer dough might be double in 45-50 minutes. So my suggestion is that don’t follow any fixed time – sometimes within that fixed time dough gets over proofed or not proofed properly. After 50 minutes poke your finger in the dough – if this hole doesn’t fill up, your dough is ready to start for next process. But if it fills up, dough still needs some more time for proofing.
When first proofing is over, place the dough on clean oil greased kitchen counter and punch it gently.
Knead it softly and spread it in a rectangular shape.
From the top start rolling tightly and shape it like a log.
Pinch and seam the ends of log.
Place it in a well greased bread-tin keeping seam side at the bottom.
Brush it with oil to avoid drying; cover it (I always cover it with a bigger tin) and keep the tin at a warm place for second proofing.
Second proofing gets over in 20 to 30 minutes.
Ten minutes before second proofing gets over, start preheating oven for 10 minutes at 190 degrees. Give milk wash on top of the log. Place the tin in the oven and bake it at 185 degrees for 30-40 minutes. If top of the bread is becoming brown very fast, then follow the tenting method I have given in my earlier post of sandwich bread.White Sandwich Bread
Follow same temperature if you are baking in microwave convection. If your oven or microwave is very small in size then reduce the temperature to 180 degrees.
At the end of baking time, tap the top of the bread – if it sounds hollow, bread is ready.
If you have greased the tin properly, you can de-mold the bread immediately and place it on a cooling rack till it cools down completely.
But if you are not able to de-mold the bread immediately, don’t worry. Still keep the tin on cooling rack for 10-15 minutes; then clean the edges of the tin with a knife and bread would be de-molded easily now. Apply butter on hot bread to keep it soft and let it cool down completely.
Once bread cools down completely, don’t start slicing it. I know it is very difficult to subside the excitement, but you will end up with crumbled bread slices. Instead, cling wrap the loaf nicely and keep it in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours so that crumbs settles down.
Generally, I bake bread in the daytime and keep in the fridge till 10 pm. Then I cut the slices, cling wrap them and keep them back in the fridge.
In busy morning schedule bread is ready with slices for sandwiches, toast them or just have it with butter!!