Since last few years, we have been avoiding buying breads, except when it is a specialty bread like Danz, the no preservative, no bromate kinds, but that too is rare… Its been almost two years since I have started baking… Never thought, I ever would, but love for your family makes you do unexpected things 🙂 It all started with me reading an article on bromates in breads and I stopped buying bread altogether (although usage of bromate has been now banned in India). But as a family we love breads, and all kinds of breads…
So when I sucessfully baked cakes, I thought it was high time I tried my hands on breads too. Some experiments were successful, some were not, but in the process, I learnt a lot…My Mom still can’t digest the fact that her little daughter, who would hate to do any chores in the house, let alone cook, is today baking some really good cakes and brownies 😌
So here is my version of the classic white bread…
3 cups all purpose flour or refined flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
3-4 tbsp olive oil or any other vegetable oil
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
21/4 tsp active dry yeast
- In a microwave safe bowl, take milk and water.
- Add sugar, stir well and microwave it for 30-40 seconds. You can heat it on stove top too. Check for the temperature of this mixture by inserting your finger. It should be luke warm, neither too hot nor too cold. Too hot, will kill the yeast, and too low will not activate the yeast.
- Add the yeast, stir and keep in a warm place to activate (the mixture will froth). This may take around 10 minutes, depending on the weather.
- In a large bowl, add refined flour, salt and oil. Mix well. Add the entire activated yeast mixture and mix well.
- Start kneading the mixture. It will be sticky, but please dont add any more flour.
- Keep on kneading. The process of kneading will activate the gluten and the dough will start coming together.
- Once the dough has come together and turned into a smooth mass, check for windowpane.
- Take a small portion of the dough, and keep on stretching it till light is able to pass through it. It should not tear. This means it has achieved window pane and the dough is ready. If it tears, it means you have to continue kneading for few more minutes, till you achieve window pane.
- Once the dough is ready, transfer it to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise for about two hours till it has doubled in size.
- Gently deflate the dough and transfer it to a lightly oiled surface. Shape the dough into an 8″ log.
- Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with a moist cloth or cling wrap and allow the bread to rise for about 1 hour. Towards the end of the rise, preheat your oven to 180°C or 350°F.
- Bake the bread for 30 -35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. As the loaf pan has been greased it will slide off easily.
- Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack before slicing. Its ready to be served