Baking bread at home has always been on my must-do-list. Its of course much easier to go to a Daily Breads outlet next door and buy a packet of bread from their range of breads. But nothing can beat the high you get when you bake at home, with the luxury of adding ingredients, changing the flavors and creating your own bakes. This is what I love most about baking. The list of things you can do is endless...Well.. for example, you don't get a Orange and Chocolate Marble Cake or a Nutty Pineapple Cake (without the overdose of pineapple essence) at a store. And a whole lot of things for that matter. The power of baking powder is such!! Yaaaayyy!!
this recipe I saw on Aparna's blog. The lady sure has an awesome awesome collection of recipes, specially bakes. It looked easy enough with easily available common ingredients. Well, not all that easy(unless you have enough experience in baking breads) as I found out later as my bread went - Oooooppps!!!!
This is Aparna's recipe. I probably substituted one integral ingredient, the paneer,(apart from adequate proving probably)which might have yielded the perfect bread. Sigh!!
1 ½ tsp dry active yeast
½ cup warm milk
1 tbsp honey
1 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 small onion, finely chopped(I used about 2)
1 tbsp oat bran
½ tsp salt
½ cup paneer, crumbled (I substituted with chopped spring onion greens)
2 tbsp dill, chopped( I used fresh parsley instead)
melted butter for brushing (optional)
Add the yeast and honey to the milk, stir well and allow the yeast to proof.
Put all the remaining ingredients into the food processor and the yeast mixture and process, adding water if necessary, till a soft, smooth and elastic dough is obtained. This can be done by hand, if you prefer. (I mixed with my hand.)
Take the dough out of the processor bowl and knead a couple of times, by hand. ( I think I kneaded more) Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise till double in volume.
I allowed the dough to prove for about 3 hours in my OTG(turned off of course)My dough did increase in volume, almost double. Maybe I should have given it more time, overnight perhaps??
Gently deflate the dough and divide into 6. My baking tray is quite small so I used my loaf tin to make a loaf. Allow to rise a little, for about 20 minutes. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes or till the rolls have browned. Brush with melted butter and allow to cool.
I baked for more than 40-45 minutes, but the bread refused to look anywhere as inviting or soft or light as Aparna's:-((. I tried the skewer test and the bread passed. Psst... does this hold good for breads??
Well, when I sliced the warm bread, it smelled great, but only a portion of the top crust had browned. The bread was slightly undone too:-((((( My kids still ate the bread and said it tasted 'nice', which it did. Not satisfied with the heavy bread, I cut it up into small squares, baked them till crisp. Tossed them in some olive oil, chilli flakes and oregano.
To lengthen my already lengthy post , I have a few queries.
1. How frothy should the dissolved yeast become? Is it OK to leave it for longer than specified once it becomes frothy?
2. If a recipe says prove for 2-3 hours, is it OK to prove it overnight? Does it affect the texture and taste a lot in this case?
3.If substituting ingredients, to what extent and what ingredients can be safely substituted?
4. How much of kneading is 'adequate'?
5. What's the test for 'done-ness' of bread?
Hoping to find some help on this...