Bread making, I always wanted to make my own loaf of bread but felt yeast is a very tricky ingredient to tackle. Temperature is very crucial. Too high will kill it, too low will cause it not to activate.
I had tried a few different recipes which I got from the internet for the past few years. Some turned out acceptable but lots of improvement required while some disastrous. At one point, Mr. was so afraid he will break his teeth somedays as some were hard as a rock, or so he said. I always felt the sense of achievement when the dough managed to raise and proofed. But it always ended up slight disappointment after it was baked and sliced.
Every loaf I baked is a step moving forward to a soft, delicious, fluffy loaf of bread which I’m still trying to achieve. I learned how to handle yeast on the first few loaves. Next I learned how to knead the dough. When I first started making bread, it was all manual, by hand and full body strength. Its definitely not easy! Partly because the dough is too dry?
When I received a KA for my birthday 2 years ago, it definitely made things a lot easier. I do still tend to get a bit worry and stare at my KA when it’s kneading a dough. Did read on net that it might burn the motor therefore I always make sure I didn’t make my KA work too hard that it go on strike.
During my vacation last year, I bought myself A Bread Bible, I was determined to teach myself how to make a tasty loaf of bread. Errrrr…..will it work??? Well I’m still learning, trying and following the recipe and steps very closely. I did find this bible very useful and I had not only tried the different bread recipes, I also made pizza, muffins, quick bread (banana bread) from it. So far, I love it all.
This was the 1st actual bread recipe which I tried and I did this loaf using my KA stand mixer. Not sure how easy it is to do it by hand. The bible did have instruction if kneading by hand but I since I did it using KA, theerfore I only jotted the recipe for machine made.
There’s a few missing ingredients and some self notes
- I forgot to add salt. Even though there’s butter, it still taste bland. It will definitely helps if I remember to add a pinch of salt.
- I did allow the dough to develope overnight. Not too sure how huge is the taste difference if I didn’t because I have never try it so far.
- There isn’t any raisins in my pantry so I left it out.
- Felt the bread was a bit dry. Not enough water maybe?
- I was really careful when shaping and rolling the dough. I’m very happy with the spiral pattern in the end product.
- Toasted seem to taste better than fresh.
Cookbook : The Bread Bible
Author : Rose Levy Beranbaum
Makes: two 8*4*4.5 inch high loaves
Dough Starter (Sponge) : minimum 1 hour, maximum 24 hours
Minimum Raising Time : about 3.5 hours
Oven Temperature : 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Baking Time : 50 minutes
Dough Starter (Sponge)
- all purpose flour 341g
- water at room temperature 405g
- honey 45g
- instant yeast 2.4g
Make the sponge. In a mixer bowl or a large bowl, combine the flour, water, honey and instant yeast. Whisk until very smooth to incorporate air, about 2 minutes. The sponge will be the consistency of a thick batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
- all purpose flour 311g
- dry milk, preferably nonfat 40g
- instant yeast 2.4g
- unsalted butter, softened 128g
- salt 15g
Combine the ingredients for the flour mixture and add to the sponge. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, dry milk and instant yeast. Sprinkle this on top of the sponge and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to ferment for 1-4 hours at a room temperature. (During this time the sponge will bubble through the flour blanket in places: this is fine)
** For the best flavour development of the dough, allow the sponge to ferment for 1 hour at room temperature and then refrigerate in for 8-24 hours.
- raisins 144g
Add the butter to the bowl and mix on low speed with the dough hook (#2 if using KA for 1 minute or until the flour is moistened enough to form a rough dough. Scrap down any bits of dough. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle on the salt and knead the dough on medium speed (#4 KA) for 7-10 minutes. It will not come away from the bowl until towards the last minute or so of kneading; it will be smooth and shiny and stick to your fingers. With an oiled spatula, scrape down any dough clinging to the sides of the bowl. If the dough is not stiff, knead in a little flour. If it is not at all sticky, spray in with a little water and knead it in. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to relax for 10 minutes.
Add the raisins and mix on low speed (#2 KA) for about 2 minutes to incorporate them evenly. But don’t worry too much about how well the distribute, because deflating and folding the dough after the first raise will distribute them more evenly.
Let the dough raise. Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrap the dough into a 4-quart dough-raising container or bowl, lightly oiled with cooking spray or oil. Push down the dough and lightly spray or oil the surface. Cover the container with a kid or plastic wrap. With a piece of tape, make the side of the container at approximately where double the height of the dough would be. Allow the dough to raise until doubled, 1.5-2 hours.
Using a oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough into a floured counter and press down on it gently to form a rectangle. It will be full of air and resilient. Try to maintain as many of the air bubbles as possible. Give the dough 1 business letter turn and set it back in the container. oil the surface again, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to firm the dough for rolling.
** When chilling the dough before shaping, you can refrigerate it as long as 24 hours.
Cinnamon Sugar Spiral Filling
- cinnamon 9g
- sugar 75g
- lightly beaten egg 32g
Make the cinnamon sugar spiral filling. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon.
Shape the dough and let it raise. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and cut it in half. Keep one piece of dough covered while you work on the other piece. (You may want to refrigerate half of the dough so that you don’t have to rush the shaping of the first piece.)
On a lightly floured couter, roll out one piece of dough to a rectangle 7.5 inches wide by 14 inches long and about 0.15 inch thick. Using your fingertips, gently press (dimple) the dough all over to deflate air bubbles that result in gaps in the spiral. Brush the dough with the lightly beaten egg (about 1 Tbsp per loaf) leaving a 0.75 inch margin all around.
Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar evenly over the dough, leaving a 0.75 inch margin on all sides. Starting from the short end closest to you, roll the dough up tightly, as you would a jelly roll; brush the top of the dough with egg and squeeze the dough gently all along the length of the roll so that it will adhere well to the filling. If necessary, use your hands to push in the ends of the roll so that it does not get larger than 7.5 inches long. When you come to the end, make a seam by tightly pinching the edge of the dough to seal in the filling. Push in any inner coils of dough on the sides that may have worked their way out and pinch the ends of the dough tightly together to seal. Tuck them under so that the loaf will fit into the pan.
Place the roll seam side down in a prepared pan; it will be about 0.5 inch from the top of the pan. Repeat for the second loaf.
Cover the pans with a large container, or cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap. Allow to raise about 1-2 hours or until the centre is 1.5 inches above the sides of the pan. When the dough is pressed lightly with you fingertips, the indentation will remain.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 45 minutes before baking. have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on it before heating.
Bake the bread. Quickly but gently set the pans on the hot baking stone or hot baking sheet, and immediately shut the door. Bake for 50 minutes or until the bread is medium golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Halfway through baking, turn the pans around for even baking.
Glaze and cool the bread. Remove the pans from the oven and set them on a wire rack. Brush the tops of the bread with melted butter. Unmold and cool top side up on a wire rack until barely warm, about 1 hour.