Tuesday, 30 August 2011

My new favourite bread recipe

I tried out a new bread recipe a couple of weeks ago, and it's become the family favourite. This one slices even better than the previous recipe, and has a lovely even texture that makes it great for sandwiches and toast.
It's another recipe from Down To Earth, and I've adapted it for the Thermomix, so all the hard work is done. If you're making bread by hand, go over to Rhonda's blog for her method.

  • 2 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup warm (not hot) water 
  • 4 cups baker's flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon milk powder
  • 1.5 - 2 cups warm (not hot) water  

Place yeast, sugar and  ¼ cup warm water in TMX bowl. Close lid and mix at speed 1-2 for a few seconds. Do something else for 5 minutes or so, and when you come back it should be frothy.

Add flour, salt, oil and milk powder, and 1 cup of water. Mix at speed 5-6 for 30 seconds, adding more water slowly while mixing until dough starts coming together. I usually need about 1.5 cups altogether, but it depends on the type of flour, the humidity, etc. and may vary. You really need to get to know how the dough feels, and that comes with practice.

Knead dough for 2 minutes on closed lid position.

Tip dough out onto mat/bench/board and knead by hand for a minute until smooth. If the dough seems a little dry, sprinkle some water on it and knead it in as you go. If it seems too sticky, do the same with a little more flour.

Form into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover (I use a little spray oil and cover with cling wrap to prevent the dough drying out, but a damp tea towel can also do the job) and leave somewhere warm and draft-free (not so crucial with the cling wrap) to prove. I've found this recipe rises much faster than the previous one I wrote about, so keep an eye on it.

Once doubled in size, tip out and knead by hand for two minutes. Shape and place in a tin lined with baking paper, or on an oven tray, sprinkle with water and add seeds if desired (we like sesame seeds). Cover (I use the same piece of cling wrap) and allow to rise again - about half an hour should do it.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees C. Bake on centre shelf for 6 mins, then turn oven down to 180-200 degrees and bake for 15-20 mins. You'll know when it's done by the fabulous smell and the golden crust.

Turn out onto a cooling rack. Slices best when fully cooled, but is delicious warm!

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