Monday, October 25, 2010

Orange Bread

Well, yes, you could say I am on a 'caking' break. Cakes and More hasn't seen a cake this month, the 'More' taking up the space happily. I have baked a couple of cakes, but nothing new, so nothing to blog about.
With the son becoming more chubby, me on a diet, the hubby on an enforced diet (enforced by yours truly, without any doubt) whatever cakes I bake, is restricted to a slice or two for the kids and the rest shared with neighbors, and friends. Well, the itch to bake a new cake will soon resurface and I promise a shining new cake here soon...

I have been trying out breads, the healthier way to scratch the baking itch. Baking breads, I must tell you, has been like an edge-of-the-seat thriller in a way. You guessed it -Yeast features in this one. If you live in India, trying to learn baking bread with our locally available dried-active yeast, you can relate to my banter here. My inexperience apart,  poor quality of yeast has been a contributing factor to the 'Ooops' factor in my breads. I have had to discard the yeast mixture 4 times on one occasion as the yeast did not quite proof..oops, rise to the occasion. So while my yeast is proofing, I pace back and forth, will it froth well within the critical 10 minutes, or will I have to start all over again..?? The 'phoren' yeast is supposed to be much more potent, it WILL froth for sure in 10 minutes and froth even when close to the expiry date. Guys in the US and elsewhere - how I envy you!!

I will be getting my bag of goodies from the US shortly and you bet yeast is going to be one of them. My sister got me a packet of instant yeast called Gloripan from General Food Additives, Seshadripuram. I was so excited,  I just had to fit in baking a bread on the same day as I had to bake 3 cakes in my 14 liter OTG for a celebration in our office. And am I over the moon the yeast proofed its worth:-)

  I tried Orange Bread from Champa's blog, with a few modifications made as I baked with APF instead of whole wheat. I would have loved to bake with whole wheat as in the original recipe here , but was too chicken to add another element of  uncertainty by adding the vital wheat gluten, not to disregard the kneading factor. So after some, alright, quite some mails to Champa, I decided to bake it with APF.

As I learn, the ratio of the liquid to the flour is imperative to good texture of the bread. So if you are learning baking bread like me, make sure any bread recipe you attempt is very specific in these terms. A skewed ratio may result in a dense bread.

Here is what I did.

All Purpose Flour(Maida) - 3 Cups( I added about 1.5 tablespoons more while kneading)
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Orange Juice 3/4 Cup (I used Tropicana)
Water - 1/4 cup(divided use)
Honey - 3 tablespoons(Add a tablespoon more if you want the bread sweet)
Oil- 2 tablespoons
Dry Yeast - 2 teaspoons ( I used instant yeast, same quantity)
Orange Zest, grated - 1/2 teaspoon

Milk for brushing the loaf before baking (optional)
Oil or butter for brushing after baking(optional)

Procedure: In a large bowl, combine the honey and 2 tablespoons of warm water (out of the 1/4 cup). Sprinkle the yeast on top, allow to froth for 10 minutes. If it does not froth in 10 minutes, the yeast is no good and you will have to start the process all over again:-(.  Note: Instant yeast does not need to be proofed, but I proofed just to see if it would froth well. And it did!

Mix the flour and salt well in another bowl. Keep aside. Add the oil, grated zest, the orange juice and the remaining water to the yeast mixture. Slowly add in the flour and mix into a dough. Dust your working area with very little flour. Knead well for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. If you find the dough sticky, oil your hands and continue with the kneading. I have added 1.5 tablespoons more flour as the dough was extremely sticky and difficult to knead in spite of oiling my hands repeatedly. I used my dough scraper for the first time.  Note: Adding more than a couple of tablespoons of flour in addition to what the recipe specifies is not a good idea for a beginner. Form the dough into a ball, coat with oil. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and rest it in a warm place for an hour or till it doubles in volume.

Once the dough doubles, gently deflate it and shape into a dough. This part is scary as I am not sure how much of handling the dough is OK at this stage. Now you know why my loaves don't look pretty most of the times:-). You are supposed to be using a 9*5 loaf pan here. My tins are smaller, so I have made one big loaf and another mini braided loaf. Cover the loaf with a greased aluminum foil and let it rise again for about 45 minutes or till the dough doubles in volume.

Towards the end of the final rise, pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F). Just before placing the loaf in the oven, brush with some room temperature milk. Bake for 20 minutes. The loaf turning golden brown around 20 minutes is a good sign, I have realized. I have baked for 25 minutes at this stage. Slide an aluminum foil over the loaf if you find it browning too much. Lower the temperature to 160 degrees C (325 degrees F) and bake for 10-15 minutes more or till the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. I have again baked for more than 5 extra minutes as I was not sure if the bottom sounded hollow. I have over baked the bread as is obvious from the thick-ish crust. I now need to add an Instant-read thermometer to my wish-list. This helps check the done-ness of bread. Cool gadget, eh?:-))

Remove the loaf from the oven, brush with some butter and allow the bread to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack till the bread comes to room temperature. Slice only after it comes to room temperature.

The bread had a good texture, slightly tangy, slightly sweet, soft and flavorful with the hint of orange coming through...The crunch of the flaked almonds on top contrasted well with the softness of the bread.

If you do not want the bread to taste tangy, add more honey. If you prefer the bread sweetish, try adding just the 3 tablespoons honey, use 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup water, step up on the zest.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful keeper of a recipe Champa! The bread goes your Bake-Off.

 Am so very happy to also be sending my humble bread to Meeta's Monthly Mingle hosted by my favorite, favorite, favorite-est blogger Deeba this month. Being a huge PAB fan, I just wouldn't miss up on this, not for the world!!

Also to Susan's Yeast Spotting


deepti said...

Perfect Bread Slices...Looks so soft...

Vani said...

Awesome Pics! :) Way to go Suma!
Well well...i got a chance to taste the bread!! YAY!! The texture of the bread was perfect with a very pleasant hint of orange. The flaked almonds on the crust added a nice crunch to the soft bread. :)
Call this location advantage...thank you god...for giving me a house close to Suma's house :))

Divya Kudua said...

Looks so so good Suma..Love the flavor of Oranges in baked goods,so what if its not a cake!!I am still chicken when it comes to baking bread and have attempted only a few,very few recipes yet.You have become a bread baking pro!!

CurryLeaf said...

EXCELLENT it looks Suma.I do not know Seshadripuram-just heard but never been.Also Glorispan is new to me.I am fed up of trying to proof my yeast which I tried buying from here.US ones work best for me.Love oranges in bakes.PERFECT

Sushma Mallya said...

wow it looks beautiful and so soft...

Priya Suresh said...

Woww thats a beautiful looking bread, looks sooo spongy and soft..

Deeba PAB said...

Thank you for the early entry Suma... Orange bread sounds YUM! Citrus is right up my street, and I'm loving this! Your pictures are fab, and a 'blushing' thank you for the sweet mention. I love that you won the battle of yeast! Love the crumb of the bread, and looking forward to more breads from you! I guess it was the yeast all along!! HUgs!

Champa said...

I am glad you conquered yeast. Thanks for the entry. Best part of this post is putting your kid and husband on restrictions. Hahaha, I should try that on myself sometimes.

Sneha said...

Hey Suma!! How are you?! I still visit your blog too!! Just been SOOOO busy with the smally!! It took me almost a month even to COPY my recipes from the previous address!! :0)

I am crazyyyy about mushrooms too!! will get those 'phoren' recipes in here soon enough, I promise!! :0)

Oh!! And your orange bread looks divine!! Everytime I read 'orange bread' I can somehow smell heady orange scents wafting through my head!! :0)

Sanjeeta kk said...

Lovely texture for this gorgeous orange bread, Suma. Great clicks too.

Akila said...

orange bread looks awesome...
Event: Dish Name Starts with C
Dish Name Starts with B - Roundup

matt gordon said...

your pictures are as wonderful as the food. i was wondering what would be a great pairing for this bread. mango lassi would wash it down nicely

RV @ foodfor7stages said...

Love the crust of the bread. I can totally understand your excitement about baking with yeast. I was flying high when I made my first yeast bread

Panchpakwan said...

Perfect baked bread, nice texture on it..Ornage is really fresh combo..
All your effrots with yeast are paid off!!

Nachiketa said...

what an awesome win over the yeast ghost... I'm yet to win this battle.....

Love the bread you've done.... wish i could gobble some....

The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

harini-jaya said...

awesome look n feel of the yet to try out the orange bread!

Anonymous said...

Hi there!
Thanks a lot for this reciepe. Suddenly makes baking bread look rather simple.
I tried it out last evening, with the exact proprtions given...except that i used dry yeast ( and yeah it did froth, not wildly, but slowly)...
But alas! it did not rise. Not one bit :( Dont know what & where it went wrong. In fact, i kept it in a warm place for almost 4 hrs! ...But it still didnt rise one wee bit.
Im thinking the yeast is wrong...But the packet says its fresh, and it did froth too. So im puzzled n slightly dissappointed.
Thinking i should try the whole thing again?
or should i just bake the non risen dough, n see how it becomes?

Thanks again ,

Suma Rowjee said...

Thanks all for your comments, am really motivated!
@Vani- The feeling is mutual:-)
@Divya - Do try again, am sure u will become friends with yeast too!
@Curry Leaf- Coming from u, its a real compliment, thank you!! Please try out Gloripan, may work!!
@Deeba- Am tickled pink u visited my blog and left a comment, made my day lady!! My pleasure to send the entry!!
@Bangalore Baker- hahaha, u sure must try!!
@Sneha- Looking forward to the 'phoren' recipes:-)
@Matt- Yumm, sounds good, yummy thought!
@RV- Trying to keep the temp going with yeast, wanna remain friends:-)
Nachiketa- Think u must begin the battle, the retitle ur blog as Crazy About Desserts and Bread!!

Suma Rowjee said...

@Madhavi- Thanks for visiting my blog and trying out a recipe from my space!
What I have learnt is if yeast doesn't froth in 10 mins, its no good. It may not froth wildly,but atleast a good surface area of the mixture should look frothy.
Sadly, even if the packet is fresh the yeast we get here does not always froth well. Try this brand I tried, Gloripan, may work. Also be sure about the temperature of water being lukewarm or the yeast will get killed if the water is hot.
If the dough doesnt rise at all, guess there is no point in baking it.

Hope this helps. Do let me know if I can help any further with wtever little I know. Be in touch!

Anonymous said...

Dear Suma

Thanks for that tip! I guess the yeast did me in. Planning on picking up the Gloripan brand & trying this weekend.
Also i did however go ahead and bake the not-so-risen dough. Couldnt bear to chuck the dough into the bin so just went ahead baked it .It did come out ok strangly. Obviously not spongy like a freshly baked bread, but the proprtions of the orange flavour was so good, it tasted passable. we used it as tea bread n polished it in off few hrs.
but now im tempted to try it out again, properly !
will keep u posted.
thanks again for patiently replying to us all !

Anonymous said...

Dear Suma

Thanks for that tip! I guess the yeast did me in. Planning on picking up the Gloripan brand & trying this weekend.
Also i did however go ahead and bake the not-so-risen dough. Couldnt bear to chuck the dough into the bin so just went ahead baked it .It did come out ok strangly. Obviously not spongy like a freshly baked bread, but the proprtions of the orange flavour was so good, it tasted passable. we used it as tea bread n polished it in off few hrs.
but now im tempted to try it out again, properly !
will keep u posted.
thanks again for patiently replying to us all !

Shanthi Krishnakumar said...

Awesome and perfect even without eggs

Sally - My Custard Pie said...

This sounds like a sort of orange -scented brioche. Never the easiest thing to master - sounds very inviting.

DR said...

Tried this bread last week & it came out great.. Thanks for the wonderful recipe....

TriShakti said...

Thanks for the recipe,I too tried this yesterday it was great.

Anonymous said...

Hi Suma,
When you are using cup measurements, are these the US cup measurements? The US cup measurement is generally 240 mls and hold 110 gms of maida.Will be great if you can provide the metric conversion as well, nothing is more precise than that.