Saturday, May 2, 2009

Making Bread

I've been wanting to make bread for some time, but, well, it turns out that my yeast was dead, so I ended up making bricks. Also, I wasn't happy with the recipes. But maybe it was the yeast. Anyway, I now have new yeast (yay) and when I received my Simple Savings e-mail, I decided to try the standard bread recipe offered by Sophie Gray. I couldn't get you straight to the recipe, but if you scroll (all the way) down to section 5, and then down to the 3rd recipe, there you go.
Well, I made it up with my stone ground wholemeal flour, by hand, and formed it into the loaf and baked it. The only differences I made were to simply mix the yeast, sugar, and salt into the flour, and then pour the liquids (and I've just realised that I missed out the 1/4 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon sugar in the very first step) and go from there. It made quite a good bread - standard, normal, not going to win any prizes with it, but a normal loaf of bread. I'd need a different recipe for making ciabatta (yum!)

I later tried it with plain flour (just ordinary Woolworth's Home-Brand Plain flour) and made buns from the dough. I was wanting to be able to replace the dinner rolls I had been buying, and this looked like a good chance. Well, I made 8 rolls, and I think next time I'll make at least a dozen out of the dough. They turned out to be big babies! Oh, and only 5 survive ;)

Yeah, they'll do;)

After consideration, I'll post how I did it.

500g flour
10g yeast (I use Lowan Instant Yeast)
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup hot water (probably should have been 1 cup)
3/4 cup cream

Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Mix the water and cream, then stir into the flour. When mixture gets too stiff, turn out onto a floured or greased benchtop (either works, and if you grease the benchtop, then you aren't incorporating extra flour and possible drying out your loaf.)
Knead for 10-15 minutes, or until your can do the window pane test.
I never quite got to this point, but stopped, and let it rest for an hour or two. It wasn't warm enough, so that's how long it took. Also, it allowed the yeast to work on the dough, so that I could knead it again later. After a rest and a second (short) kneading, and a good bit of rolling, I felt happy with baking it off.
Anyway, knead, rise 40 minutes or until doubled, knead again briefly and shape into a loaf. Heat the oven and wait for the loaf to rise again, then bake at 200C for 30 minutes.

In the breadmaker, I combined room temperature water with the cream, then added the sugar and salt. Cover with the flour, and then yeast on top. Choose the dough setting and let it do its work. Once done, pull out, knead into shape (I made buns) and let rise while the oven is heating. Bake at 200C for 20 minutes (buns) or 30 minutes (loaf.)

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