Baking bread at home is therapeutic. No other activity releases stress from the mind than this, and the result is a happiness -inducing, amazing loaf of bread. And one might think it’s complicated- it’s not. Follow the steps precisely, and one cannot go wrong.
Whole Wheat Flour 420 gm (Keep 250 gm separate out of this)
Instant Yeast 1 tsp
Butter or Olive Oil 40 gm
Water ½ cup
Lukewarm Milk 1 cup
Honey 3½ tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
In a bowl, mix the water, milk and yeast, until the yeast dissolves completely.
Add 250gms of Wheat flour to the activated yeast mixture and allow to rest for 30 mins.
After 30 mins, add honey, remainder of the wheat flour, salt and mix gently with the tips of your finger. Let this rest for 10 mins.
Transfer this mix on a clean flat surface and start kneading gently with the palm of your hands, adding butter slowly. The dough will be quite sticky in the beginning, but will firm up upon kneading. Do not add any more flour. Keep kneading the dough for at least 18-20 mins until dough becomes soft and pliable.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover it with a cling wrap and let it rest. This will start rising. Keep it until it has doubled in volume (takes appx 60 mins). This step is called First Proofing.
Grease a loaf pan (baking tin) and keep it aside.
After first proofing, knead gently with your knuckles for 1 min. Roll it into a cylindrical log and place it in the greased loaf pan (baking tin).
Cover again with cling wrap and allow it to rise until double the volume for appx 45-60 mins.
Preheat the oven at 180 deg.
Place the pan in the oven and bake at 180 degree Celsius for 35 mins.
Remove from the oven and brush melted butter on top of the loaf. Remove from the loaf pan and wrap it in a clean towel for minimum 3-4 hours, preferably overnight.
Cut even slices of the bread with a serrated knife.
Amount of hydration (adding water, as in step 1) and depends on the texture of the wheat. Organic Wheat Flour which is coarse in texture was used here, therefore the bread needed more hydration. In case finer texture of Wheat is used for baking, amount of water can be reduced.
Proofing is dependent on outside atmosphere. It may take longer for a bread dough to rise in colder environment.
Wheat Flour Breads require minimum 15 mins of kneading. The final dough after kneading should be soft and pliable. The time can be different depending on conditions.
After baking, the bread should be rested, as explained in the recipe, in order to retain the perfect texture and crumb.
Butter can be replaced with any vegetable or olive oil.