Recipe – BAGUETTES

There is nothing like freshly baked home-made baguettes. Easy, delicious, crusty, soft chewy baguettes are a delight for breakfast slathered with butter or jam; also makes a great accompaniment for any meal.

A simple recipe with available ingredients at home. The dough is very sticky; lightly dust your fingers with flour and use as much flour you need to keep it from sticking but stop when it does not stick to your hands any more. Overworking the dough will make it tough. Rest the dough depending upon the warmth of your room. Baking time may vary due to oven temperature variances. Traditional baguettes are very long; however, it does not fit the size of home-ovens.

yields : 2 loaves

Ingredients

2 cups unbleached all purpose or bread flour

2 tsp instant yeast

3 tbsp raw sugar

1 tsp fine sea salt

1 cup lukewarm whole milk or water

1 egg (lightly beaten)

25 gms melted butter

Method

Measure flour, salt and combine together nicely in a large bowl. Now, making a well at the centre, add sugar, yeast, melted butter and egg.

Using a wooden spoon, mix to combine. Gradually, add milk or water; mix until the dough comes together to form a round ball.

Rub your hands with flour as required; begin to knead the dough for a longer duration until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Place it in a greased bowl, cover and proof at room temperature in a warm spot for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Gently punch the dough down and transfer to a lightly floured surface.

Divide into half; roll it into a baguette shape about 10 to 12 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide, seam side down. Repeat with the other dough ball and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Score diagonal slashes with the help of a sharp knife and place it in a baking tray. Spray warm water all over the baguette, using a spray bottle.

In the meantime, pre-heat oven 220º C/400º F and bake the baguettes for 30 minutes or until golden brown in colour. Allow it to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe – 100% WHOLEWHEAT BREAD (atta bread)

Baking your own bread is therapeutic and rewarding experience; the smell of a warm freshly baked bread wafting through the room is divine.

I love making bread and trying out different variations. It is easy to get a fluffy and soft texture with flours but when it comes to making a 100% wholewheat bread (atta bread), it is a challenge.

Since I want to bake a sugar-free bread using 100% wholewheat flour (chakki atta) for hubby dear, this recipe is simply perfect. I love to do it in the old-fashioned way. It does not have all purpose flour, eggs or sugar. I have made this bread recipe with sugar too; add 1 tbsp (if using it); the bread was more fluffy and light. The gluten powder was given to me by one of my friends; thought to use it for this bread recipe.

My toddler loves to baste the bread as he has done in all my previous bread recipes. You can baste with water or plain milk, however, it is optional. I basted my bread to keep my little chef happy.

The bread had a soft, light and pleasantly chewy texture.  You can tell the bread is cooked by tapping underneath. If it sounds hollow then it is cooked and if it doesn’t you have to put it back in the oven for little longer. Uncover the bread and allow it to cool completely; it is hard to resist cutting a slice of fresh warm home-made bread – so go ahead and enjoy!

Have a peep to my other bread recipes 4 braid bread, Simple Irish Soda bread and Turkish bread.

recipe source : my own

total prep time : 3 hrs/20 mins, cooking time : 25 mins, serves : 1 loaf, author : gloria

Ingredients

400 gms + 50 gms for dusting wholewheat flour*

2 tbsp gluten powder

1/4 tsp ground ginger

3 tsp milk powder

1 ½ tsp fine salt

2 tbsp vegetable oil

350 ml lukewarm water or milk of your choice

basting with plain water or milk (optional)

Method

Combine wholewheat flour, gluten powder, ground ginger, milk powder and salt in a large bowl.

Make a well in the centre and add vegetable oil and lukewarm water or milk.

With the help of a wooden spoon, mix everything nicely. At this stage, the dough would be sticky. Dust little wheat flour onto the surface area and transfer the dough.

Using the extra wheat flour*, rub your hands and begin to knead the dough for a longer duration until it becomes silky and elastic.

Place it in a greased bowl, cover and allow it to rest in a warm spot for 2 hours to leaven.

After the 1st rise, remove from the bowl and gently punch the dough down.

Shape into a loaf tucking the edges and place seam side down in a generously greased loaf pan (9×3 inches).

Cover loosely with a plastic wrap and allow it to rise further for a second time undisturbed for 60 minutes. Baste it with plain water or milk.

Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 220º C and bake for 25 mins or until golden brown.

Once slightly cooled, remove it from the pan and place it on a wire rack uncovered to cool completely.

Enjoy your home-made freshly baked atta bread slathered with butter or in your meals.  Makes a great sandwich too.

Recipe – 4 BRAIDED BREAD

Braided bread is beautiful, tasty and makes a delicious toast. The simple ingredients easily go together to make a rich, slightly sweet moist bread. I kneaded the dough by hand; made this bread as per my oven size and with the remaining dough, made dinner rolls. It does take effort however, it’s worth it! Enjoyed hugely at my home and is perfect for a family dinner meal; also it looks wonderful when served on the table. The braiding technique verbatim is adapted from thebakersguide.com.

Delicious and wonderful 4 braided bread for dinners and delicious toast.

total time :2 1/2 hrs, yield : 1 big loaf, author : gloria

Ingredients

3 1/2 cup plain regular flour + extra 1/2 c for dusting

1/4 tsp orange zest

1/2 tsp salt

7 gms active dry yeast

1/4 cup lukewarm water

2 tbsp sugar

200 ml milk

50 gms butter (melted)

8 gm vanilla sugar

1/2 tsp ground cardamom powder

1 egg

Method

Pre-heat oven 190° C/375° F.

Mix 3 1/2 c flour, orange zest and salt; keep aside.

Proof yeast in lukewarm water, adding sugar for 10 minutes or until frothy in a mixing bowl.

In a small saucepan, heat milk until lukewarm over low heat; remove and add melted butter, vanilla sugar, ground cardamom powder and egg; stir to mix and add it to the yeast solution.

Using a wooden spoon, slowly and gradually, add flour mixture till everything is incorporated and knead to make a pliable dough, dusting with the extra 1/2 c flour as required.

Place it in a greased bowl; cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and allow it to rise until doubled in volume for 1 hour. Punch down; remove from the bowl.

Divide your dough into 4 equally sized pieces and pre-shape them into short rough log shapes.

On a minimally floured counter roll each piece of dough out into a long log shape with tapered ends that is about 18 inches long. Do this by starting in the centre and then moving your hands out in a rocking motion to elongate the piece of dough.

Place the pieces in front of you vertically and kind of fanned out with the ends farthest from you lightly pinched together.

Starting on you left hand side number the positions of the dough strands as 1, 2, 3, 4. The dough strands will move, but the positions on the board will remain the same.

Starting with strand 4 cross it over strand 2, then cross strand 1 over 3, followed by 2 over. Repeat as many times as needed to get to the end. Don’t be tempted to try to get too many repeats when you get to the end, otherwise you will have a lopsided loaf that is fat on one end and really narrow on the other.

Cover and let it to rise for the second time for 20 minutes.

Brush the braid with beaten egg and bake in a pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow it to cool completely before slicing, brush top with melted butter.

Enjoy!

my observations/notes:

  • my 1 cup is 250ml