Finally I baked my own whole wheat bread, from a scratch, without using any fancy bread machines or bread flour. Not even gluten flour. 🙂 And I am very very pleased with myself. May be I am biased but whoever tasted this bread was of the opinion that it tasted much better than commercial brown bread (these same people in question had disagreed to my saying that the donut french toast tasted like a donut, that should give them some credibility!). This was a grainy, rich, dense bread loaf which was then cut into deliciously thick slices and transformed into a wholesome coleslaw and salami sandwich!
And the even better news is that this recipe, like all my recipes, is as fuss free as possible. I have adapted the recipe from the one for ‘dinner rolls’ in my Morphy Richards recipe book (this came with my oven). An important note: please bake this bread during the day as the temperature in the night will be too cool for the dough to leaven properly.
500 g whole wheat flour (you can also use multigrain flour)
2 tbsp oil or butter (I used oil)
1 tsp salt (I think it would have tasted even better with another spoonful of salt)
2 tbsp active dry yeast
300 ml water
4 tsp sugar
You can also add flavorings to this bread like Sesame seeds or herbs or sundried tomatoes or lemon zest or some cheese (please ignore this one! 😉 )
-Add the sugar and yeast to 300 ml of lukewarm water. Take care that the water is not too hot or it will kill the yeast. Cover this mix and leave aside for 15 minutes till frothy.
-In a bowl, take the flour and make a well in the middle of it. In this well add the oil, salt and yeast mixture. Mix well to form a smooth dough.
-Cover the bowl with a cling film and leave the bowl in a warm place to rest for an hour or a little longer till the dough doubles in volume.
-Knock back the dough and knead well for a couple of minutes and then cover it with cling film again and let it rise for another hour.
-Once the dough has doubled, again knock it back and knead. Now grease a loaf tin with some oil. Roll the dough into the shape of a log and place it in the loaf tin and press it a bit to mould to the tin’s shape.
– Cover it with cling film and let it rise again for an hour (till it doubles up). By now you must be fed up and tired of the ‘knock back- leave to rise’ process. Peace!
– Brush the top of the dough with some milk so that you get a nice crust. You can now put the bread to bake on the middle rack of a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 40- 50 minutes.
– Spray the insides of the oven with some water (in case you have a water spray) to help the crust formation. If you are like me, then don’t bother with the crust and enjoy the bread as it is. 😀
– Once the top of the bread is nicely browned insert a skewer or a toothpick in the middle to check if its done. If it feels hard to the hand anyway, take it out and leave it on a wire rack to cool.
– Knock the bottom of the bread, it should sound hollow.
– Your bread is done.. now cut a thick slice of it, slather it with butter and enjoy the fruits of your labor!