I follow the website www.thefreshloaf.com quite a bit and most of my kneading techniques, temperature settings etc. are borrowed from here. My bread doesn’t turn out half as good as the author’s, but I blame it on not having a baking stone. 😛
Anyway, I was super-impressed with the first chapter where the author mentions that all you need to make a bread are four ingredients: flour, salt, water, yeast. And it’s exactly what I used for this basic loaf. He suggests starting off with this and then experimenting with various additional ingredients like milk, eggs, different kinds of flours etc. I am not quite there yet, hence thought of starting off with the simplest one.
After some trial and error I have somewhat arrived at my own bread recipe proportions that work best for me.
Here how I made it.
- 2 cups all purpose flour (maida)
- 1tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water mixed with 1/2 tsp sugar
I followed my pretty standard method which has become almost like a bread routine for me. I chucked the yeast in warm water and sugar and left it alone for it to rise and foam. Meanwhile, I mixed the flour and salt with my hand mixer. Mixing the dry ingredients well goes a long way in getting a decent loaf.
After the yeast had foamed, I added it to the flour and mixed well with the dough hooks till I had a sticky mass. I then tumbled it onto a floured surface and kneaded it gently for 10 mins. I did apply firm pressure while kneading. I follow the kneading tips in the video below quite religiously (url: http://www.thekitchn.com/-home-hacks-108771)
Once the dough was ready and sprang up when I poked it with my finger; I moved it in a big oiled bowl and kept it covered with cling for about an hour.
After learning from my mistake while making the Onion and garlic loaf; this time I pre-heated the oven to only 180 degrees C for about 25 mins. I also kept the heat coming only from the bottom of the oven. I baked the loaf this way for 25 mins and then turned the heat on from the top as well for the last 4-5 mins. This gave me a nice hollow sounding loaf with a delicious golden brown colour.