Basic White Bread
The first time I tried my hand at baking bread was during my college days. Even though my enthusiasm was over the roof, the end result didn’t come out as expected. I think the technicalities were overwhelming for a teenager without much experience. Thereafter the idea was shelved for a while
My second attempt at baking bread was well after I was immersed into the passion of baking. This time I was able to understand and apply the finer points and intricacies. The results are here for all to see and a sense of achievement for me. As they say, the fruit of hardwork is always sweet and surprsingly the bread tasted a bit sweet too. 🙂
The recipe I am sharing with you is from Taste.com. Read through the instructions carefully as every step is important. The procedure may look lengthy but trust me, it’s worth all the effort
Basic White Bread
Basic White Bread
- 3 - 1/3 cups Plain flour
- 2 teaspoons Dried yeast
- 1 - 1/2 cups water Lukewarm
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- butter greasing Melted for
- Take a bowl and put the yeast, sugar and pour lukewarm water into it. Do not mix.(The temperature of water is of great importance. When you sprinkle water on the inside of your wrist, the heat should be bearable. Overheating the water will kill the yeast). Keep the bowl aside for the yeast to act up. You will see that it becomes frothy and rises up after few minutes(10-15 minutes) .
- Meanwhile sieve the flour with salt and transfer into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture into the well. Use a wooden spoon to stir until combined and then use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. The best way to knead is to use the heel of your hand to push the dough away from you and then lift it with your fingertips and fold it over itself towards you. Turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat. You can tell when the dough has been kneaded enough by pressing your finger into the surface of the dough - if it springs back, it has been kneaded sufficiently. If the dough hasn't been kneaded enough, the resulting bread will have a holey, crumbly texture and poor structure. Shape the dough into a ball.
- Grease another bowl with butter. Tranfer the shaped ball into it and roll so that the butter coats the surface of the dough. This is to ensure that the dough surface doesn't dry up. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or damp towel. Keep in a warm place for the dough to double in size. It could take upto 1-1/4 hours . So be patient. When the dough is ready, it will retain a finger imprint when lightly pressed.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down in the centre with your fist. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead again for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and elastic and returned to its original size.
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Shape the dough into desired shapes and place them on greased baking tray. Stand the pan in a warm place for about 30 minutes. They would have risen. Beat an egg white with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the dough lightly with the eggwash. Place the braed dough in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or till they turn golden brown. The best way to tell when the loaf of bread is cooked is to tap it on the base with your knuckle - if it sounds hollow, it is cooked.
- Turn the loaf immediately onto a wire rack and allow to cool. If left in the pan, the loaf will sweat and the crust will become soft.
- Voila!! Your homemade bread is ready.