Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Baking bread

Well since I have been making bread a number of people in the past have asked me about it, as I am baking at least twice a week at the moment, more if we have guests. I thought I would bang out a quick easy bread recipe. Even though normally I don't make things by measurement, I did so this morning, so as to be able to give good advice to everyone. Sorry for the bad voice over, I am not ever going to be a TV presenter ;)

First you need the ingredients:
800g Flour (and a little extra for the board)*
7g dry yeast
6g fine salt
30g bran (or any fibre rich "by product" of milling) #
600mL Warm water
oil for lubricating the bowl.

*I tend to use 650 Universal flour because I find it hard to find 750 bread flour. So not the coarsest flour, but also not the finest.
# I add bran etc. because I can never buy enough wholemeal cheaply at our local supermarket or our open air market and I prefer wholemeal breads to purely white. You could substitute this for grains, seeds, anything you want really (that is dry).

Bowl (large enough for a growing dough)
A mixer with a dough hook
Spatula to remove the dough
Oven (of course)
Baking tray.
Scales to weigh ingredients and dough for rolls

 First thing other than weighing your ingredients is to combine all the dry ingredients and mix in the mixer
Then add most of the water leave about 100mL.

Look at your dough, is it together, balled, or wet? If either of the first two add more water. This can depend on the moisture in the air or the fineness of the flour. So, it can be different every time.

Then I let it mix on a mid range speed my Bosch MUM does best at 2.5 or 2 (out of 4.5 max) speed for at least 10 minutes.
 It should look a little like this.

Then I turn it out onto a floured bench top and form a ball and put in an oiled bowl.

Cover with plastic and let it sit (proof) for an hour, it won't be massive yet, but should have risen.
The work little holes into it with your fingers, fold it back together and and form a ball again. Back into the bowl for another hour. You can repeat this as many times as you want on the hour. I suggest 2-3. You can also over proof it but I haven't experienced it yet. The darker the bread the longer you should let it sit. When I use heavy flours like Rye, spelt and sourdough I will often let them sit over night.

Now make little balls. Watch the video for that one.

Cover and let proof when you see that they are growing nicely put the oven onto maximum with the tray in there.
Once they are proofed put them onto the hot tray

Score them if you want.

Bake them at maximum setting for about 5 minutes (until browning) then turn down to 180C once they are nicely brown tap them with a knife and listen, if they sound hollow they are ready, if they are dull when you hit them they aren't quite there yet.

Take them out and let them cool.

I hope this is at least a little informative.


Crawler said...

They look so tasty... (* -,*)

My mum used to bake bread from time to time, but since she has bought a bread maker, she's baking all the time. That bread is so dense, after eating to slices you're full as if you have eaten 5 slices of a typical shop bread. Plus it's impossible, to flatten the loaf with your hands.
Did I mention that it also tastes great?

Gee Em said...

That is great. I think more people should make their own bread. It is better for you as there is less additives and it is really fun to do. :) Plus you can add anything you want to it!

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