Friday, 18 September 2015

Wholewheat Bread

Conducting bread baking classes at home are proving quite beneficial to me in a way that my breads are getting better and more perfect than what they used to be. Since I am the instructor, it is extremely important for me to practice all my demo recipes before the class and thus perfection sets in. I am in love with my breads now more than ever before and hate to buy a loaf from the store even if it means taking a sweat shower in the kitchen in the unbearable Singapore heat!!
2 cups wholewheat flour sifted (I have found Sharbati Atta of any brand gives you the best results; here, I have used Pilsbury Gold but Peshwai or Ashirwaad Sharbati will work equally well)
1 cup bread flour or all purpose flour 
3 tsp or 1 tbsp instant yeast 
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk powder 
250 ml warm water not exceeding 41 degree celcius or comfortable enough to hold a drop on the back of your wrist 
2 tbsp butter room temperature (I use low fat margarine)
Olive oil for greasing 

Proof the yeast first. Dissolve the sugar into 150 ml warm water and mix in the yeast. Let it stand for 10 minutes till frothy and increased in volume. 
In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, and milk powder. Now make a well in the center and pour in the yeast and start mixing the flour and the yeast liquid. Once all the liquid is covered by the flour, start adding in water little atva time until all the water is used up (remaining 100 ml). With wholewheat breads we have to ensure that the dough is not dry but smooth and soft to the touch with slight traces of stickiness. A dry dough will result in a dry crumbly bread. 
Now transfer the sticky dough to a clean and floured work surface and using both your hands, start kneading with all your might till all the stickiness is gone. This will take 5-7 minutes. Now spread out the dough and splash 1 tbsp butter/margarine and fold in. Continue kneading till the butter is absorbed. Do not be tempted to add extra flour. Just keep kneading and in mo time the stickiness will be gone. Now add the remaining 1 tbsp butter and knead again till you have an incredibly soft and elastic dough. Congratulations! You are 70% done!!
Niw oil a big enough bowl to hold the doubled up risen dough and also oil the dough. Gently place it into the oiled bowl and keep covered in a warm place for 1- 11/2 hour till doubled in volume. 
Once doubled, punch down the dough and knead for 3-5 minutes to bring the dough into a uniformly shaped loaf. Grease a loaf tin and place the shaped loaf in it. Cover again and leave to rise for another 1 hour. 
Towards the end of the second rise, start preheating the oven at 180 degree celcius and also keep a small tray of water to build up steam. 
Brush the top of the loaf gently with milk (room temperature) taking care not to deflate the dough. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes till you get a dark brown top and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. 
Remove from the pan immediately and brush the top with butter. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. 

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