Thursday, July 17, 2008

I made bread!!

I made bread!! I did!! I MADE BREAD!Bread making was initially soo daunting to me. I borrowed a number of books from the library to understand bread-making. Read from end to end. They talked about flours, organic, stone milled, whole wheat, barley etc etc. And then there is yeast, dry, wet, fresh, instant. And then there is the bread culture in Europe, America.... Artisan bread, country bread, festive bread. I'm like wha...??? I had planned to bake during my whole 4 days leave recently. But my bones just seems too heavy. We were out celebrating F's bday. [Happy 29th sweetie!!! Hope you enjoyed ur 3 full days of celebration].
But 2 days ago, I decided that I will brave the bread-making front and faced it hands-on. No Kitchen Aid, no bread maker. Just my trusty Kenwood, the hook and my bare hands.And oh! My Mario Batalis... heheh. Sis made some the other day too, so I was soooo motivated to try. Hah!! I scaled the floury mountains and conquered.
Ok enough! Here's the proof:

Of course I have my office-ful of guinea pigs. Hehe.. my critics. Too dry, what happened? (AC). Too sweet (that's me). Just nice (Dad). Taste like pizza!!!(ME) I like the cheese ones (JW and she came back to my desk for seconds).

When I first tried to make bread. It was the Cheese buns using the Straight Dough method. It does not yield the kind of softness and texture I enjoyed in bread.

This time, I tried using the Sponge and Dough Method. I love it!! I left it overnight to rise. Wake up in the morning and knead my stress out. Fun fun fun!

Straight Dough Method
(A)480g Bread Flour
120g Plain Flour
110g Sugar10g Salt
20g Milk Powder
4tsp instant yeast

(B)1 Egg
300ml Cold Water

(C)60g Butter

Mix (A) till well blended
Add (B) and knead into a dough
Add (C), continue to knead to form a smooth and elastic dough.*

*What I did was basically to Pour the ingredients into my Kenwood until it forms a dough. Take it out on my kitchen top and knead knead knead. Mum's words in my head. Not smooth yet... not smooth yet. Okie...

Sponge and Dough Method
(A) Sponge Dough2tsp Instant Yeast**
2tbs Water**
1/2tsp Sugar**
420g Bread Flour
220ml Cold Water

(B) Main Dough
120g Plain Flour
60g Bread Flour
1tsp Instant Yeast
110g Sugar (I omit this and add only abt 1tsp when making my savoury bread)
10g Salt
20g Milk Powder
40ml Cold Water (I mix this with the yeast too and the sugar)
1 Egg
60g Butter

For the Sponge mix, mix instant yeast and water and set aside for 10 mins.
** I read somewhere that Sugar is Yeast's 'food'. The instructions did teach me this... But I mixed Instant Yeast, 2tbs water and Sugar together and let it mix it well. It will become bubbly and looks like wet/ fresh yeast.

Add remaining ingredients and knead into a dough.
Cover the dough with clear film and let it prove for 2.5hrs. I let it prove overnight....
Then add the sugar, salt, eggs from Main Dough ingredients.
Mix till well blended (into the Kenwood babes!!)
Then add flour, instant yeast, milk powder and water.
Mix well and knead into dough (this is where you bare your muscles... and start kneading).
Add butter and knead until smooth (not smooth enogh!! more more...) .
Cover with a clear film (I am assuming you know that you are to place your dough in a bowl.. yes).
Let it prove for another 10 mins.

Now you are ready to put in your creativity.
My first attempt was Sweet bread with cheese toppings.Soo... I follow diligently the recipe for the Sponge and Dough. Every single grain... and when bread is almost done... I sprinkle sugar... and put cheese slices on top. And then I sprinkle more sugar when it comes out of the oven.

My second attempt... the ones that ME said tastes like pizza, but AC and the rest of them said is a bit dry...I omit the 110g sugar. Add a bit more salt. Use Olive oil instead of butter. [Now the next portion is sis' idea with a bit of tweaking... must give her some credit you know]. Add sauteed minced garlic, mashed honey tomatoes, chopped sun dried tomatoes and dried herbs.

Tonight will be my 3rd and 4th attempt. The sponge dough are proving right now. I will try making the more moist version of the sun dried tomatoes bread and 4th batch is using whole wheat flour. Tune in....

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