Homemade Breads are just out of the world.
Nothing to beat the taste and aroma of homemade bread. Once you start making bread at home, no one in your family will like store-bought bread.
Though all breads are good having their respective taste and aroma but what about our age-old, traditional white sandwich bread. We have grown eating that bread only so how can we forget it so easily.
I have switched over to wheat and semolina not only in bread but also in cakes but yes at times I bake using all-purpose flour also.
And for beginners, it’s good to try their hands first on white sandwich bread and once confident, should move slowly and gradually to whole wheat bread.
Before I move to the recipe, I want to share something with you all. Bread making is an art. An art which can be mastered only through practice and with proper understanding.
Once you have knowledge about yeast and the basics of bread making, making bread is really easy and simple but yes, I repeat it requires a lot of practice. If it’s your first time then it would be really helpful to you if you go through the above-mentioned posts.
As long as your dough rises well, continue making bread. Do not worry much about the shape. Sooner or later shape will also fall into place.
Also, bread making is a lengthy process, one needs to go through a series of steps. You need to have the patience for this. Though actual time spent may be less but proofing time (resting time) is more. So prepare yourself first, then proceed.
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Proofing Time: 1 Hour 40 minutes approx
Baking Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 to 4 Hours Approx
3.25 Cups (400 gms) All-Purpose Flour plus 1 Tbsp for dusting
1.5 tsp Salt
3/4 Cup Lukewarm water
1.25 tsp Instant Yeast
1.5 tsp Sugar
1/2 Cup Milk, at room temperature plus 1 tsp for Milk Wash
1 Tbsp Butter, softened plus 1 tsp for Brushing
1 tsp Oil
Proof yeast: First of all, take a big bowl and pour lukewarm water in it. Add sugar and yeast. Stir it very lightly. Cover it and let it stand for 10-15 minutes till it becomes frothy and bubbles appear.
While the yeast is getting ready, you also get ready with your preparations.
Sift flour and salt.
Once the yeast is proofed, add milk and butter in it.
Start adding flour. Add flour in 3-4 instalments. Add 1 cup flour, mix it with the yeast solution. Then another cup of flour, mix it and finally the remaining flour.
Mix it nicely. It will be very sticky at this stage. Some people use silicon/plastic scraper to manage the dough. I prefer doing it by hand only.
Gather the dough and toss it between your hands ( like a ball) After 8-10 tosses, it will become manageable and will stop sticking to your hands.
Now sprinkle a little flour on the kitchen counter, put the dough on it and start kneading using both your hands. Keep scraping in between. After few minutes, the dough will be smooth and shiny.
Do the test for kneading. If poked a finger in the dough then it should bounce back.
Grease a bowl, put the dough in it. Flip it so that both the sides of the dough are properly greased.
Cover the bowl with plastic sheet/damp cloth/lid.
Keep the covered bowl in some warm place for an hour or so, till it gets doubled.
It is better to keep it inside your Otg or microwave oven. In winters, just switch on the light of these appliances also.
Once the dough is double, do the ripe test. Insert two fingers in the dough to see that the indentations remain and rebound slowly.
Knock/punch down: Now, deflate or knock down or punch down the dough using your fist. Knead it lightly for a minute or so.
Shaping the loaf: Sprinkle some dry flour on the kitchen counter, put the dough and spread it roughly into a rectangle using a rolling pin. Keep the width more or less equal to your loaf’s length. Start rolling it from one end and shape it like a log. Seam the edges either using the side of your palm or doing the pinching motion. This is a very important step, so do it very carefully. If not satisfied then again spread it and repeat the process.
Take the loaf tin of size 9″ by 4″ by 4″. Grease it, not just the bottom but sides too up to the top, as bread will rise above the rim.
Keep the shaped dough into this loaf tin, taking care that the seam side goes into the bottom.
Final Proofing: Cover the loaf tin with a damp cloth and again leave it for 40-45 minutes or till the dough rises up to the rim of the loaf tin.
After 40 minutes or about 10 minutes prior to baking, preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.
Slash the dough with a serrated knife and milk wash it.
For Milk wash: Take 1 tsp milk in a bowl, using a brush wipe the loaf with this milk.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Normally by now, the top gets golden and your house is filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread.
Sorry, no skewer test for bread. Take it out of the oven, leave it for 4-5 minutes. Loosen the sides using a butter knife and invert it onto a wire rack.
Brush butter on the top.
Cover with a damp cloth and let it cool down.
Once cooled completely, cut slices and enjoy.
Since no preservatives are used, it remains good for a day or two only at room temperature.
So, pack it in ziplock bags and keep in the refrigerator.
- The amount of liquid used may be slightly more or less (by 1 tbsp) depending on the flour.
- If using dry yeast instead of instant yeast then take 1.5 Tsp dry yeast.
- Sifting is done for two reasons, one is to aerate the flour and other is to mix the salt in the flour. This is because yeast does not like salt and if put on salt its growth may be inhibited.
- Ensure that the dough is greased from both the sides so that cracks may not appear in it while proofing.
- Baking time may vary slightly from oven to oven so keep a watch 3o minute onwards.
- In case the top gets too much brown then cover it with aluminium foil.
- To check for the doneness of the bread, once out of the tin, tap on the top and bottom of the loaf. If sounds hollow then it means it is done.
- After taking out of the loaf tin, always keep the loaf on a wire rack otherwise it will turn soggy from the bottom.
- Butter is brushed on the top to give a shine to the loaf.
- Activate yeast in warm water. For this add sugar and yeast in warm water. Cover and leave for 10-15 minutes.
- When frothy, add milk and butter.
- Sift flour and salt, 2 to 3 times. Add sifted flour in 2-3 instalments.
- Knead the flour for 10-15 minutes till becomes smooth and shiny.
- Grease a bowl using oil, put the dough in it and flip it so that both the sides are well greased.
- Cover the bowl and let it rest in some warm place for an hour or so or till doubles in size.
- Perform ripe test to check whether it has risen fully or not.
- Knockdown or deflate the dough.
- Knead lightly for 30 seconds or so.
- Shape the dough into a log.
- Take a loaf tin of dimensions 9″ by 4″ and grease it with oil.
- Keep the log of dough into the greased loaf tin.
- Cover it with a damp cloth and leave it for second rising for about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Start preheating oven at 190 degrees C for minimum 15 minutes.
- Once the dough rises up to the rim, milk wash it and make a cut with a serrated knife.
- Bake at 190 degrees C for 35 to 40 minutes.
- loosen sides with a butter knife and invert the bread loaf on a wire rack.
- Brush butter on the top.
- Wrap it in a damp cloth and let it cool completely.
- Once completely cool, cut slices and enjoy.
If you try this recipe or have tried any of my other recipes, then please leave a comment, with your experience and suggestions, if any.
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