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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wholemeal Bread

                When I greeted the New Year this year, I made a resolution to bake, more, the variety of breads and pastry that I learnt as all these years I have been, more into baking cakes; thanks to the numerous cake orders from friends and customers alike, that bread making had taken a seat back and although I do bake the occasional bread, its time this year to give bread and pastry making the driver's seat and now that we are into September, I am glad that at least I have, somewhat, kept to my resolution but it, sure, needs more "exercise". So far this year I have made my Mini Coconut Buns twice, Chicken Curry "enveloped" in bread once; Wholemeal Loaf once, Pizza Buns, White Loaf once, Fisherman's Pie once, Durian Tarts once and by my resolution; thats not enuf!!! Prob next week I resolve to bake Naan, which I have made only once and even that once, it was a good experience for me as adding plain Yogurt into the ingredients brought bread making to another level as it was very, very good and so soft when you sink your teeth onto a piece of Naan, it was tasty as the yogurt gave it a good twist and just eating the Naan on its own was good enuf and next day the Naan was still soft.  When I learnt the Naan and Pita Bread from a reknown Baker, for me in terms of presentation, the Pita bread, which the Chef baked, with its wide pocket literally "took the cake" whereas in terms of taste, for me the Naan is the best and I was so excited when I learnt them both; I came back armed with the resolution that I would make both which I did but my Pita bread failed miserably and though the Pita bread tasted good, I couldnt achieve the pockets at all and I felt so down!!!  When the Chef baked the Pita, first and foremost I was very impressed as not only was it soft and tasted good even eating on its own without any fillings whatsoever but more importantly, after removing the Pita from the oven, he proceeded to cut it into two pieces and voila you can see the deep pocket and man was it impressive and I could literally hear the "oohs" and "aahs" from the other students, yours truly included and the Pita Bread was the masterpiece of the day in terms of overall effect and we brought back the portions accorded to us and next day the Pita Bread was still soft!!!  I learnt that we should not over prove the Pita dough and had to follow his exact timing and when we rolled the bread, we should place the rolling pin in the centre & roll gently in a downward direction only and not to use "great animal strength" (never forgot his words, haha, "great animal strength") and to do the downward direction continuously until you can feel that it is easier to roll the dough and then only we can roll from top to bottom as it is only natural for us to roll up and down.  Ok so I failed once in the Pita bread thus my resolution this year but so far I have not done the Pita bread again but will do before the year's up.  Sorry for this running commentary but when my hands is on the key board, my fingers do have the tenancy to fly up and down the key board keeping in tandem with my tots!!!

             Ok now I will focus my attention on baking Wholemeal Bread.  This was a recipe given to me by the owner of a cake supply shop when she baked that bread on the day when one of the Chef was giving a cake class which I was attending and I found the bread awesome.  When I was looked at the recipe I was flabbergasted as she used "3 2/3 teasp of yeast" oh gosh I dont see any 1/3 teasp in the set that I usually use and dont know whether I have a 1/3 teasp and then I remembered that during a short stint in Sydney years ago I bought a set of cake measuring spoons which I treasured and never used so I quickly looked for it and now and behold I saw the 1/3 teasp so when I made this Wholemeal Bread ten days ago, I took the trouble of measuring the yeast for you gals and guys!!!  To all new visitors please note that in all my recipes mentioned in my Blog, I use cake measuring spoons and cake measuring cups. Ophelia

            Ingredients for Wholemeal Bread

            220 gm                      High Protein Flour
            150 gm                      Wholemeal Flour
             1 1/2 Tablesp            Milk Powder
             6 1/2 gm                    *Yeast
             27 gm                        Brown Sugar
               5 gm                        fine Salt
            205 ml                        cold Water
                 1"B"                       Egg equivalent to 50 ml Egg
              30 gm                       Butter

  1. Measure everything first.  Lightly grease the 8" x 4.5" x 4.5" tin.
  2. Beat the egg lightly in a small bowl.
  3. Sieve the High Protein Flour, Wholemeal Flour & Milk Powder into the mixing bowl.  Put the Sugar *& Salt to this mixture & using a spatula give it a stir so as to incorporate everything.
  4. I then fixed a Dough Hook to my Kenwood machine.  Pour the yeast into this mixture then switch the lowest speed of the Kenwood & let it run for a minute so that the yeast gets incorporated [see my comments below on yeast].
  5.  Pour the lightly beaten egg & cold Water & switch the Kenwood to Speed 1 for 1 minute to let the liquid incorporate with the flour.  Then increase to *Speed 4 & let it run for 8 minutes.
  6. Off the machine then add the slightly soften butter & start the machine on Speed 1 for 1 minute to let the butter incorporate with the dough then increase to Speed 4 and let it run for another 5 minutes until a soft, smooth & elastic dough forms.
  7. Pinch a small piece & test it for elasticity, it should be able to stretch thinly without breaking and almost transparent.  If not run the machine on Speed 4 for another minute or two.
  8. Grease another mixing bowl with a little oil. Remove the dough & form it into a ball & place it in the greased bowl.  Cover the bowl with a plastic or tea towel & let it rest for 40 minutes. 
  9. Remove dough & gently roll it into a sausage shape & let it rest for another 10 minutes.
  10. Remove dough from the bowl & flatten it and  roll back as a sausage and then place it in a greased baking tin and cover the baking tin & let it rest again for 40 minutes and by then your dough would have risen.
  11. Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celcius.
  12. Bake in preheated oven 180 degrees Celcius for 30 minutes.

              (a)  *Yeast - Salt kills yeast.  Just follow Step 3 and 4 as typed above;

              (b)  Brown Sugar is not as sweet as Castor Sugar;

              (c)  Tip - To know whether your bread or bun is baked, turn it upside down,
                    like the picture below & knock it with your thumb & 2nd figure and if
                    you hear a hollow sound, your bread is baked :) ;

              (d)  I use a Kenwood machine thus I highlight in my Blog on same.  It is important
                    in bread making to either use a rubber anti slip and place it at the bottom of
                    the machine to prevent it from moving around.  As the movements of the
                    machine can be strong; thus I am next to my Kenwood during the whole
                    process to prevent it from going too near the edge of the table and falling
                    as I dont use any rubber anti slip/grip.

                       One other person who was glad to eat the sliced Wholemeal Bread was my better half.  After the bread had cooled down sufficiently, I sliced it, buttered it and spread kaya for him and he said that the sides & top of bread was crusty and he told me that it was better than the bread he usually buys for our breakfast and that was a sure incentive for me to do more bread making this year!!!  Another tip is always slice bread with a serated knife!!!

                      Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia.

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