Basil Garlic Loaf
Updated: Jun 13
Bread baking is very therapeutic. Once you start baking your own bread, you will not want to buy from the market.
I have used a combination of very fine suji or semolina with wholewheat flour( atta) and All Purpose Flour(maida)
If your suji is not fine ,churn it in the mixer so that you get very fine granules flour.
I have used autolyse method here, which not only helps in developing the gluten better but also reduces the kneading time.
I have used instant yeast, if you don't have instant yeast then you can use active dry yeast. Bloom it in 2 tbsp of luke warm water with a pinch of sugar.
The dough should be very sticky when you start kneading, if you find it's not add water one tbsp at a time. The key to a soft crumb is hydration of the dough.
If it's difficult to knead, oil your hands.
I have used fresh basil, if you don't have that, use 2 tbsp of dry basil. Use a good quality of extra virgin olive oil for that heady aroma and taste.
Please note that the total quantity of liquid used may vary from what is mentioned in the recipe.
The quantity of liquid required depends on the flour used and also weather conditions
I have made a small video showcasing the shaping of the loaf.
Suji (Semolina) 350 gms
Maida (APF) 50 gms
Atta (WWF) 100 gms
Milk 250 ml
Water 100-110 ml approx
Yeast 2 tsp
Honey 2 tbsp
Salt 1 1/2 tsp
Oil 2 tbsp
Basil Galic Paste
Fresh Basil 25 gms
Garlic 6-8 fat cloves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 tbsp
Sea Salt 1/2 + 1/4 tsp
Mix all the three flours in a bowl.
Now add in all the milk . Start mixing .
Add water little by little till there is no dry flour and it's all mixed well.
You may not need the total quantity of liquid mentioned in the recipe, at this point of time.
Do not knead .
Cover and leave it for 1 to 2 hours.
This process of mixing flour and dough and letting it rest for sometime is called autolyse.
Now transfer the dough to clean counter top.
Always sterilize your counter top with lemon juice or vinegar.
Add honey and yeast.
Mix it well.
Sprinkle salt all over the dough and start kneading.
If you find the dough is tight add one tbsp water at a time and continue kneading.
The dough should feel very sticky.
Knead using the heel of your palms.
Push the dough outward , then fold it back, rotate it a little and push again.
Incorporate the oil slowly while kneading.
Knead for good 12-15 minutes.
Slowly you will see that the dough had turned smooth and is not sticking to your hands.
Take a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers.
If you are able to stretch it to a thin sheath without breaking, then the dough is ready, else knead for a couple of more minutes.
This is called the window pane test.
Now grease a bowl or container.
I prefer a flat bottom and straight sides pan or container.
Transfer the dough in the container, turn it over so that it's covered with oil.
Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap.
Mark the container with a marker.
This will help you know when the dough has doubled.
It will take anywhere between an hour to two to double in size depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
Grease and dust a 9 by 5 inch bread tin.
Churn basil and garlic in a food processor to get a coarse paste.
Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it very lightly to degas it.
Pat the dough into an 8" rectangle.
Lightly spread the basil garlic paste.
Drizzle two tablespoon oil.
Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt.
From the end farthest to you start folding the dough .
Roll it into a tight roll.
Tuck the end in and pinch them.
Place it carefully on a strip of parchment paper, seam side down
Using a bench scraper, cut it at regular intervals, taking care not to cut till the base.
Please watch the video attached.
Now carefully lift the parchment paper and place it in the prepared pan.
Brush it lightly with oil.
Spray some water over it.
Cover with a cling film and let it sit undisturbed in a warm place.
It is ready to be baked when the loaf rises about an inch above the pan. This will take anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Place an oven safe dish on the bottom rack of the oven.
Brush the loaf with milk for a nice colour.
Again spray water on it.
Place it carefully in the oven.
Pour boiling hot water in the oven safe dish kept in the oven.
The steam generated will help in oven spring and also prevent from developing cracks on the surface of the loaf.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, till the top gets a nice brown colour.
The bread is ready when it sounds hollow when the bottom is tapped.
If you have a bread thermometer, then check the loaf, it's temperature should read 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the bread is done turn it on a wire rack.
Brush the top with oil and cover with a damp cloth if you want a soft crust.
Let it cool completely on wire rack before you slice it.