Today I baked a whole wheat bread loaf and it came out so perfect. I always thought baking bread is the hardest thing than cakes or cookies. But it is as difficult or simple as cakes and cookies. Trying it one or two times will correct the mistakes and anyone can bake at home, just use the correct measurements and steps. This was my second attempt. I made a small loaf for trial to learn and minimal wastage. When I baked the bread for first time all went perfect……I went wrong in the last step, which I will mention in the method section. The thing I learned was that any type of cooking needs patience and mindfulness.
- Whole wheat/Atta – 1 cup
- Active dry yeast – 1 tsp
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Oil – 1 tsp
- Water – as required
- The most important step is proofing the yeast i.e. testing the activeness of the yeast. If the yeast is not active the bread will not rise. Just as baking powder is the most important ingredient for baking cakes so is the yeast for baking bread. So for proofing take 1 cup of luke warm water in a glass bowl and add 1 tsp of sugar. Mix. Add 1 tsp of yeast. Give a gently stir. Cover it and leave it aside for 15 mins. The temperature of the water is very important in this step. Cold/room temperature water or too hot water will not create carbon dioxide in the dough and it will not rise. After 15 mins observe the change. If the mixture foams up that means the yeast is active and if it remains unchanged the yeast should be discarded.
- If the mixture has foamed up proceed further. Don’t give a try if the mixture has not foamed because the whole material and efforts will be wasted.
- Now in a bowl take 1 cup of whole wheat flour/Atta. Add ½ tsp of salt. Make a well. Pour the proofed yeast mixture in the flour. Mix it with hands. Make dough by adding little water at a time. Knead the dough for 10 mins on a clean and flat surface. Now this step is quite messy. Use little flour for kneading. The dough will become soft and light. Grease the bread tin with oil and flour. Shape the dough according to the tin lengthwise and place it inside the tin. Cover with a dame cloth. Keep it in a clean and damp place for 1 hour. For me the best place is in the microwave in a switch off mode.
- After one hour the dough would have rise double its size. Now here was the mistake I had done. I again kneaded the dough and then baked it. So once the dough has risen nicely it should not be disturbed. Also raise the dough in the tin in which it is to be baked. Grease with egg wash or butter.
- Bake the dough in a preheated oven at 180° C for 25 to 30 mins.
- Let it cool.