I tried my hand at baking breads in Cyrpus..i thgt i was ok!
I then saw one chef bake a white bread (on FOOD NETWORK) and decided to bake a whole wheat bread at home. I was rather surprised to see that I was quite good with my bread making skills (surprised, cos I seem to remember what I learnt in a fleeting conversation from a chef friend in cyrpus).
I have tried Spiced Italian multi grain, whole wheat and Parmesan cheese, cinnamon swirl and this savory bread stuffed with a squash, tomatoes and capsicum. I plan to bake the hyderabadi dil kush...ooh! I used to love it as a child. Appa used to bring it home for me and my little brother while coming back from work..Ah! I miss those days.
As a start to the bread series, I am jotting down a simple whole wheat bread recipe. Most bread making recipes follow a common process, we just need to vary the base ingredients to get a different bread each time :). One thing worth mentioning here is the amount of sugar or honey that goes into a home made bread to give it that store bought bread's sweetness levels. Believe me its scary...The first time I baked the usual whole wheat bread and I swore never to bake a sweet bread again! I have been making savoury bread ever since. My hubby is happy so am I. :). My apologies for not posting stage wise pictures for this recipe...I haven't baked a simple bread for a long time and I had no idea that I would write about recipes in my blog :-).
Whole wheat bread is generally a bit denser compared to white (maida - all purpose flour) bread. This because whole wheat or any other whole grain flour has less gluten when compared to all purpose flour. This means your whole wheat bread does not rise as much as white flour bread would, making it look denser. The best test for knowing if u are really eating whole wheat rotis is to bake a break and check ;).
Baking this bread (or any other bread for that matter) is all about being patient with the rise and bake time. Total time close to 2 hrs - (prep and bake time)
Whole Wheat and oats bread
Ingredients: makes a single loaf
- whole wheat flour - 3 cups
- Oat meal - traditional cooking (rolled) oats - 1/2 cup
- yeast (active dry yeast) any brand will do.- 2 packets or 3 tbsps
- lukewarm water - 1/2 cup
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Sugar (raw) or honey - 3 tbsp
- lukewarm milk (boiled and cooled )- 1/2cup
- Olive oil - 2 tbsp
- Some wheat flour for kneading / sprinkling onto the baking tray/bowl
- Sesame seeds to sprinkle on the bread - 1 tsp or less
- Milk - for brushing on the dough (instead of egg wash)
- Microwave 1/2 cup of water and after a few seconds, sprinkle yeast into the cup
- Stir and then allow it to stand for 8 minutes for the yeast to dissolve
- Mix 3 cups of wheat flour, oats (rolled and old fashined cooking/instant cooking only - i dont use flavoured oats at home)
- Add salt and honey (or sugar) into the flour mix
- Then add dissolved yeast and continue kneading with milk and oil
- Empty onto a well-floured chopping board to manage a better kneading for about 2 minutes (use both hands)
- Grease you tray or the bowl you wish to bake your bread in and shift this well kneaded dough
- Cover the bowl/ tray with a wet (not dripping though) muslin cloth
- Let the dough rise until double in volume
- Transfer the dough onto a slightly floured board and gently punch out the air
- Divide the dough into three equal parts and roll them into long strips
- Work these strips into a cute braid and cover it again
- allow it to rise until double for the second time.
- Brush a little milk on the dough and sprinkle sesame seeds
- We are all set to bake our bread - 375 F for 25 to 30 minutes. (I generally put it into the oven during the pre heat stage to save energy.)
- Take care not to over-bake the bread
- Once done , remove from pan in a few minutes (heat from your bowl/tray will burn the bread)
This bread works great as a garlic bread too. Just slice up a garlic into half and smear it onto the slices. Sprinkle parmesan and mozarella onto it and bake it for five minutes at 350 F ....YUM!!!!
- I generally bake a small loaf to allow even baking and easy slicing.
- One thing to note about baking is oven settings. It is better to adjust your baking time and temperature settings to suit your oven. For example, smaller the oven , quicker it is heat it, and so is the cooking time. Mine is a 27" whirlpool oven and teh temperature and time settings are to suit similar ovens.