Baking is a therapeutic experience. For those who bake their bread once will always crave for more. This basic white bread recipe is majorly just 5 ingredients. Rest are all add-ons or whatever you prefer to add as per your taste.
There is always something fascinating about baking. To wait for the fruit of your labor is really a long wait. But worth it.
I am no bread expert but have tried it so many times that I have some experiences to share with you.
√ I could never get the active dry yeast to work out consistently. Sometimes it worked and the rest of the time it was just one disaster after another.
If you are like me you would find your savior in instant yeast. These are comparatively smaller granules that you can directly add to the flour.
√ Keeping some ice cubes while baking bread gives a nice crusty exterior.
√ Its important to rotate the bread halfway through baking for even browning and cooking of bread.
√ Oil your bread pan well. It will help you later on. Otherwise if half the bread is still stuck to the tin; its no good.
√ After baking brush the top of bread with some melted butter. It will help the bread to keep moist.
√ Adding milk powder gives it a nice flavor. I have tried both with and without and I would always prefer milk powder one.
Direction to make Basic White Bread-
3 cups APF/maida
1 tsp salt
1&1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp milk powder(optional)
1 cup/ 215ml lukewarm water(less of more as required)
2 tsp melted butter(optional)
2 tsp milk(optional)
Mix flour, oil, salt, sugar, yeast together. Start adding water till it all comes together in a sticky dough.
Now on a clean surface spread some flour and start kneading the dough. It will help in developing the gluten in flour and it will eventually come together. If not add a little bit flour at a time(don’t be tempted to add too much). I have kneaded for about 7 mins.
Oil a deep dish and place the dough in the middle. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for 90mins. This process of leaving the dough to rise is called proofing.
If the weather is warm 90 mins will be enough for the dough to double and rise. If whether is not on your side leave for a extra 30 mins.
Once doubled punch the dough down and knead enough to a smooth dough.
Shape in the form of your pan and place it carefully in the loaf tin so that it matches the size. Now again for the second proofing let it rest for 30 mins.
Brush the top with milk.
Bake at 170°C for 30-35 mins. Make sure to rotate the bread half way while baking.
Brush with butter after baking.
Let it cool down completely and slice the next day.
I know you may feel intimidated to make your own bread at home but I hope I have broken it down enough to make it easy for you to try it once at least.
Its a lot to ask that “slice the bread next day” but trust me it will be worth it.
￼A good bread is one which has a nice and even exterior. It should slide back from the loaf pan after baking.
After cooling you should be able to cut clean slices without the of crumbs.
Enjoy with some jam or milk. 😊
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