Why bake bread when it is available on the grocery store shelf?
Because, never are we sure as to how fresh the store-bought bread is. There is always a lurking fear that we are eating and feeding our family with stale bread.
All commercial breads and cakes have improvers in them which increases their shelf life. These improvers are chemicals which our body system tries to eliminate.
we learn how to bake bread, the door to baking opens!! An excitingly entirely new range of
of the West entice us to experiment. Once we smell the beautiful aroma of bread, while baking at home, we
always prefer to make (bake) it at home only.
It’s simple and is fun to bake bread at home.
Care : Home-made Bread shown in this recipe doesn't have improvers, thus it becomes stale the two days if not under refrigeration!!!!
To make bread I have used Prime Instant Dry Yeast. It is available in a big packet---and once opened Yeast needs to be resealed. Open this large packet and repack into small packets/ sachets. As the quantity is more I have repacked some quantity in big packets and some into small packets. Each small packet contains one teaspoon of yeast---this way it is easy to use as we do not use this yeast so often. Seal all the repacked yeast packets with a packet sealer and store these packets in refrigerator and use as and when required. Even after three years I am able to use this yeast so it indicates after resealing and storing in refrigerator the Yeat remains to be active.
- Maida – 250gms (2Cups)
- Instant Dry Yeast – 10gms (2tsps)
- Salt – 10gms (1tsp)
- Sugar – 25gms (1 1/2Tbsps)
- Oil – 15gms (1Tbsp)
- Water – 135gms Or 135ml
- Milk – 25ml
Take a microwave safe bowl and add 135ml water and place this bowl in microwave oven and heat on high power for 20 seconds. Add sugar to this warm water and mix with a spoon till sugar dissolves completely. Check the temperature of the solution and it should read 50oC. If the temperature is less than 50oC then reheat the solution for few seconds in microwave oven. If the temperature is more than 50oC then wait till it reaches 50oC. Adding yeast at this temperature works well (After lot of experiments I reached to this stage). When the temperature of the sugar solution is 50oC add yeast and mix well without lumps. Place the yeast mixture bowl in a warm place. As I have just heated water in the microwave oven it is warm---so I have placed this bowl in microwave oven. Close the door of microwave oven so that that place would be warm for the yeast to proof. The yeast will feed on the sugar and a bubbly foam forms on the surface from the carbon dioxide being released. This foam is proof that the yeast is active, and once you see it, you can add the yeast to your bread dough. This takes some time and yeast requires a warm place to multiply. Meanwhile make other preparations.
Bread dough can be mixed and kneaded with hands but using a stand mixer makes the job easy as the dough would be pretty sticky to work with hands. Fix a dough hook to the stand mixer. Add maida into the stand mixer bowl and add salt. Take a deep bowl and add oil and smear oil all over the bowl to coat oil on the inner sides of the bowl well---keep it aside.
After 15 minutes open the microwave oven door and observe that the yeast solution is foamy and bubbly. Add oil into the yeast solution and mix. Switch ON the stand mixer on low speed and while the dough hook is rotating add slowly the yeast solution. After adding all the yeast solution, increase the speed to next level and run the stand mixer. Observe that the dough requires some more liquid to form sticky dough. Warm 25ml milk in microwave oven on high power for 10 seconds. Add warm milk with a spoon into the mixer little by little till the dough forms a ball. Here 15ml milk was required to make sticky dough. Adding milk gives the finished bread a soft and fluffy texture---however warm water also can be added instead of milk. Once dough is formed, knead the dough by running the stand mixer for 2 minutes. One can even knead the dough by hands but it takes some time and patience as the dough would be pretty sticky. After running the stand mixer for 2 minutes, observe that the dough is springy and elastic. When dough is kneaded well gluten is formed and it gives the bread its texture—so kneading dough is very important.
Transfer the dough into a wide plate and knead with hand to make it smooth. Take the smoothened dough and turn it in the oil coated bowl so that oil sticks to the dough on the surface from all sides. Coat oil well on the dough so that it would not get dried up. Keep the dough bowl in a warm place to rise. So place this bowl in microwave oven and close the door so that the place is warm for the dough to rise.
Take a loaf bowl and add some oil in it. Smear oil inside the loaf bowl well as we need to place the dough in it for baking bread. Open the microwave oven door and observe that the dough has raised three times the original size. Punch the dough to deflate. Place the dough in a wide plate and knead to smoothen it. Form into a log shape and place the dough into the oiled loaf bowl. Press lightly and spread the dough to give it the shape of the bowl. Keep this bowl in a warm place for the dough to rise. Place the bowl in microwave oven and close the door to keep the place warm. After 30 minutes observe that the dough has raised three times its original size.
To bake bread here I am using OTG (Oven-Toaster-Grill). Preheat oven at 180oC for 10 minutes. Switch ON the oven on Top-Bottom-Fan mode. Remove the bread bowl from microwave oven and give it a milk wash. Dip a silicon brush in the remaining milk and lightly coat the top of the bread dough. Give light strokes with brush otherwise it may deflate again. Milk wash gives a glazed appearance and golden color to the finished bread. Carefully place the loaf bowl in preheated oven and bake at 180oC for 30 minutes on Top-Bottom-Fan mode. After 10 minutes, observe that bread has risen slightly. After 20 minutes the top layer gets a golden color. For better results turn the loaf bowl after every 10 minutes for even browning. After 30 minutes of baking bread observe that there is no color change on sides and bottom of bread. So now bake the bread for 10 more minutes on Bottom-Fan mode. When done, wear mittens and carefully remove the loaf bowl from oven. While the bread is still hot, liberally apply ghee on top so that the crust gets a glazed look and the bread tastes heavenly later. Applying ghee on bread gives a soft, shiny and tasty crust. After removing the bowl from oven, let the bread remain in the bowl itself for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the edges to loosen the bread from the bowl. Carefully transfer the bread on to a wire rack. Tap the underside of bread and observe hollow sound which indicates that bread is baked perfectly. Place bread on the wire rack and cool completely.
If using a microwave oven with combination facility, bake bread on convection mode at 180oC for 30 minutes. As microwave ovens have a turn table and heating elements on all the three sides with a fan at the back bread gets baked with even browning from all sides.
Once the bread is cooled to room temperature wrap it in a cling film and refrigerate it overnight or till thoroughly chilled. One can even freeze it for an hour if there is a time shortage. Refrigerating the bread makes it firm as freshly baked bread would be too soft. Firm bread gives neat slices as compared to slices cut from freshly baked bread. Always use a serrated knife while cutting bread as it gives a neat finish.
Make grilled sandwiches, sandwiches, toasts, bread balls or bread upma with the homemade bread. Find some tasty recipes using bread in my website www.gayatrivantillu.com
Points To Observe:
Use good quality yeast to make good bread.
Make small portions of the big packet and seal to retain freshness. Refrigerate the sealed yeast packets and use as and when required and it would last for years.
Use a mixture of milk and water to make dough for better results.
Yeast is a living organism. Dry yeast gets activated when mixed with warm water—it eats sugar and grows forming a bubbly foamy mixture. Yeast feeds on sugar and releases the carbon dioxide that makes bread rise.
Kneading the dough is very important for the gluten to form. As we knead the dough, the gluten becomes more and more stretchy. This gum-like substance fills with thousands of gas bubbles as the yeast goes to work during rising. When the dough is baked—the yeast inside it continues feeding, and the pockets of gas in the dough continue to expand. As the temperature of the cooking dough rises, the yeast eventually dies, the gluten hardens, and the dough solidifies and we get the tasty bread!!!
While mixing yeast use warm water but not hot water. With warm water yeast gets activated whereas with hot water it dies.
Heat water in microwave oven for 20 seconds and then add sugar and mix till it dissolves completely. After adding sugar and mixing, temperature of water comes down. So initially when water is heated it may go up to 60oC or 65oC. When sugar is added and mixed it comes down to 50oC. At this temperature add yeast for better results.
To keep the dough in a warm place, use a rice cooker or a pressure cooker with warm water inside or a preheated and switched off oven or a microwave oven. In winters when weather is too chilled ---first heat some water in a microwave oven and remove it—this warms the inside of the oven. Then place the dough bowl inside for rising. Covering the dough bowl with a gunny bay or a rug also works.
Heat 20ml water in microwave oven till it reaches a boil. Then place the dough tray in microwave oven as by now it is sufficiently warm. Warm atmosphere helps in fast raising of the dough. In winters when weather is chilled, then place hot water bowl beside the tray in oven to keep the place warm.
Deflating and again raising the dough removes the yeast smell.
While giving milk wash take care not to deflate the dough.
Using a glass bowl helps us keep a watch while baking---otherwise even aluminum pans also work best.
Always wear mittens while holding hot things, especially while removing them from oven.
Applying ghee on the freshly baked bread while it is still hot softens the crust and gives a toasty flavor.
Refrigerated bread gives a neat finish when cut into slices.
Make fresh & tasty homemade bread and enjoy making tasty treats.
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