Friday, July 3, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread - Step By Step Procedure

I owe my bread making at home to blogging.

You see, for the longest of time, I was absolutely intimidated of making bread. However, as I blog hopped and saw so many of you making delicious bread at home and also reassuraning that bread making ony sounds difficult, it was only a matter of time before I started making bread at home.

It wasn't all smooth sailing, to be honest. My first few loaves were edible, but they lacked the texture. I almost gave up, but TH kept encouraging me to keep at it...and now here I am, confident enough in bread making to blog about it!

As it turns out making bread at home is not difficult...all that it needs is strong arms (or a bread maker)...so time to workout those muscles!!







Whole Wheat Bread

Ingredients:

Strong whole wheat flour - 2 cups
Self raising flour - 1 cup
Bread flour - 1 cup + some more for flouring the work surface and kneading
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Butter - 1 tbsp
Lukewarm water - 1 1/3 cup + 6 tbsps
Instant dry baker's yeast - 1 package/11 gms

Method:

1. Dissolve the yeast in 6 tbsps of water alongwith the sugar. Cover and set aside for about 10 -15 mins, at the end of which the yeast will look creamy, like this:


2. Mix all the flours and the salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Stir the yeast mixture once and pour that in. Add in 1 cup of water and stir till all the water has been almost absorbed. Add in the remaining water (or more) in small increments, as required. At this stage, the dough will be more of a shaggy mess (sorry, no picture of that stage as I was busy kneading!!).

Transfer the dough onto a well floured flat surface - I do this on my kitchen counter top. Add the butter, a tsp at a time and knead it into the dough.

Now, take a deep breath, roll your sleeves and start kneading. The way to do this is as follows:
first, press down the dough with your knuckles to stretch it a little. Take the far end of the dough and fold it towards you. Then, pressing the heel of your palm, push the dough away from you. Fold it toward you again. Sprinkle a little flour as you knead should you feel the need.

Rotate the dough a little and repeat the above motions, for about 12 -15 mins. By now the dough should be firm and should no longer stick to the work surface. Pick it up and bang it down on the counter top a couple of times. Seriously....this helps in the gluten formation.

Kneading the dough properly is essential to getting a beautiful loaf - one way of ensuring that the dough is ready is to press your finger down in the dough - if the dough springs back, heave a sigh of relief...the most difficult part of bread making is over!! If it doesn't, take a deep breath and continue kneading for a few more minutes.



3. Oil a large bowl and place the dough into it, turning once so that it is completely coated with the oil. Cover and let it rest for at least two hours or till the dough doubes in size.

To check, poke your finger into the dough, if the impression remains, the dough is ready.

(note the difference - when the dough is kneaded enough, an impression made in the dough should spring back, but when the dough has risen enough, the impression made in the dough should remain).





4. Now the fun part....beat the dough - punch it hard until it deflates and then knead it for a couple of minutes.


Place the dough in a warm loaf pan (I rinse my pan under hot water, quickly dry it and then oil it before placing the dough in it), cover and leave it till it doubles in size. This normaly takes me about 45 mins.



6. Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C. Bake for about 30 - 35 mins.

To test, knock the loaf with your knuckles - a loaf that is done will give a hollow sound. Cool it on the wire rack before slicing.




There...enjoy the aroma of freshly baked bread...there's nothing quite like it!!





23 comments:

  1. Gosh the bread looks so perfect, thanks for step by step procedures, they help a lot!

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  2. looks perfect..beautiful loaf

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  3. never tried bread at home ..must try

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  4. The bread has comeout well..great

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  5. Wow looks perfect! And nothing can be more satisfying than having a slice of freshly home made bread :)

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  6. I agree, I was initially scared too. But once I got going, it's real easy. Your loaf looks lovely.

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  7. wow! sounds so simple.. So spongy n fresh!

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  8. What a beautiful loaf! Homemade bread can't be beat!

    cheers,

    Rosa

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  9. Gorgeous loaf of bread ,that's a very detailed and helpful recipe :)

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  10. hi AD,
    Wow! the bread looks so good :)and the slices are cut perfectly :) I still haven't mastered baking bread :( couple of attempts have failed. After the unsuccesful attempts I have shelved the idea of baking temporarily :) let's see what the future of bread making holds for me :)
    This is a great post and kinda a encouraing too :)
    Enjoy!
    TC

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  11. Your whole wheat bread came out fluffy and moist. Great!

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  12. the bread looks soft and lovely... i am yet to perfect my art of baking bread so your post was encouraging and helpful

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  13. WOw bread looks prefect Aqua!!

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  14. Wow!Aqua, I am so into baking bread myself these days, urs seems awesome!!

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  15. hi aquadase.....thanks for dropping by....i liked your blog.
    the bread looks simple and perfect...i agree that to start baking breads is the most difficult part and it becomes easy when you bake 2-3 loaves at least.
    aquadase and terradase....found the names very interesting...

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  16. Hey,
    Even I'm intimidated when it comes to baking bread. Would love to try this recipe. the bread looks so soft. Wanna know, what is strong wheat flour and bread flour???

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  17. It looks perfect yaa and it looks so simple when u make it!!!I'm going to try this!

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  18. Perfect loaf of bread - persistence paid off!

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  19. homemade bread is such a welcome change....I do love it!

    yours looks great, I bet the aroma in your home was wonderful.

    cheers,trupti

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  20. No really there is nothing like a home made loaf! yours look great like a fresh baked from the bakery.

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  21. this looks like a lovely sandwich or toast bread!!

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  22. What a perfect loaf. Bravo!! I just baked my first loaf after a LOT of procrastination. Quite the euphoric experience!

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It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!

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