Shital's-Kitchen: February 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Basic Bread Loaf

Love the aroma of freshly baked, warm bread! I have been experimenting on bread since quite some time now. Maybe I used old, expired yeast, which did not bake bread to my satisfaction. Finally, I bought a new pack of yeast and here I was all set to try a regular basic bread loaf with all other ingredients just found in my pantry.

Just like Alton Brown would describe, here are the steps involved in baking bread:

All set to work!!
Water, Sugar, Yeast, Flour, Salt, and Oil
Measuring spoons, measuring cup, large bowl, thermometer, dough mixer. 
Thermometer and dough mixer are optional. I know not many people have or need it at home.

Heat 1 1/4 cup room temperature water in a microwave for 35-40 seconds. Water temperature should be close to 100F (35-40 degree C) to activate yeast to produce carbon dioxide bubbles.

Pour warm water in a large bowl, 1 sachet: that is 2 1/4 tsp. packet of active dry yeast. Add 1 1/2 tbsp sugar. Mix and let the mixture rest for 5 minutes.

Add 2 tbsp. olive oil. 1 tsp. salt, and 3 cups all-purpose flour/maida.

Use a dough maker attachment or just your hands to bring the flour and liquid together to make a soft dough. Do not add any more liquid.

Remove dough on a clean surface and knead for 5-7 minutes to work gluten and form a soft dough.

Grease a large bowl, let the soft dough rest in and cover with a clean moist towel for an hour.

After 30 minutes.

After 60 minutes. Dough should almost double in size.

Punch in the dough and knead it again for 3-4 minutes.

Form into a log to fit in a 10 inch loaf pan.

Here is my new metal loaf pan. Grease the pan with oil or butter.

Add the dough and press it down the fit well in the pan.

Cover again with a moist towel and rest for 30 minutes.

The dough has risen and doubled in size. Bake in 375F preheated oven for 30 minutes or till the top turns golden.

Beautiful color! 
Remove on a wire rack to allow the pan to cool. Invert the bread and let it cool complete on the wire rack to prevent the bread from getting moist.

Underside of perfectly baked loaf. 

Remove on a wooden board. use serrated knife to slice the loaf. 

Perfect for my next Sandwich!