Breads are a joy to bake, convenience to carry and versatile to suit everyone’s taste. You can only feel tiresome if you want to list the number of ways one can pair the bread – Nutella, jams, cheese spreads, marmalades, compotes, fresh fruits, chutneys, veggies….the list is endless.
Baking bread is an art to master, something I always compare to making idlis. Both needs an ability to gauge the fermentation and timing the resting time according to the weather. There can only be a guideline how to make a good bread, practice makes perfect ones. The reason are mutli fold, the weather varies,fineness of the flours vary and the agility of yeast varies.
Here is a recipe which is recommended for someone who has worked on white bread earlier and knows the consistency of a white bread dough. The challenge, if not, would be to relate how the dough would rise for a given consistency. The grains in the multigrain flour used in the recipe are ragi/Keppai/Kelvaragu/finger millet , Kambu/pearl millet , oats in equal portions. You can add or modify the ingredients of the multigrain flour , but it is essential to have 50% of the flour to be still white flour . Else, the bread is heavy and grainy and not appealing.
A few tips that I find useful reminders every time I bake a bread are :
Always test your yeast batch unless you are a regular baker who is using the same packet of yeast.
Always start with half your flour measure and add as you go . If adding water, make sure to do so in small quantities and only when the entire moisture is absorbed in.
Always go with kneading with hand to learn the texture even when you have a bread machine.
A granite/ marble surface will help bring the dough together faster. Make sure you are positioned comfortably to knead the dough such a way that you can rest your body weight on the dough you are working.
Always a faster first rise followed by a prolonged second rise will add complex flavours.
If you like complex flavours, try resting the dough overnight in refrigerator but cut your yeast measure by half.
Folding the breads with seam side downward is important or else you will end in a bread that sort of breaks out into pieces.
Serves: 1 loaf
- 2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour / atta
- 1 cup multigrain flour
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoon sugar /brown sugar/ honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 teaspoon dry yeast
- Proof yeast . In a bowl of luke warm water ,add ½ teaspoon of sugar , stir in yeast . Wait for 15 minutes . The yeast should bubble up with the froth. Else, discard and start afresh with another batch of yeast.
- Mix the flours along with other dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
- In a big bowl, start with 2 cups of flour , add 1 cup of water first , oil, moisten and add water and flour as you incorporate the entire quantity into a kneadable mass.
- Once the dough ball is formed, transfer the dough on to a cleaned floured marble countertop , use both your palms and push the dough away from you.
- Keeping kneading until the dough feels like a baby's butt. It should be soft yet firm.
- Oil a deep vessel , transfer the dough and apply a coat of oil and cover the bowl while it rests on the counter for 45 min. This is your first rise.
- After the first rise , punch down the dough and transfer back to the counter, roll it out as rough rectangle with width of the rectangle a little less than the pan's length.
- Now, dust off the extra flour, roll it tightly and pinch the seam inwards.
- Place the roll in the oiled bread pan with seam side down. Cover again with a wet cloth.
- Let it rise for 45-60 minutes this time or until the bread flows over the pan.
- Brush the bread with eggwash/butter/milk/oil . Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Run a knife across to serrate the top.
- Bake at 200 degree celsius for 40 to 45 minutes.
- A well baked bread will sound hollow when tapped at the bottom.
- Let the bread completely cook before slicing.
I hope you will get hooked to baking and love the smell of yeast dough in your kitchen once you try this recipe.
Enjoy your freshly baked bread.