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.
Please note , you may not need the entire amount of liquid mentioned in the recipe as each flour absorbs differently. It also depends on weather conditions.
Start by adding less water and add more while kneading if you find the dough to be stiff.
Suji 250 gms
Maida 100 gms
Atta 150 gms
Milk 250 ml
Water 135 - 145 ml approximately
Yeast 2 tsp
Honey 2 tbsp
Salt 1 1/2 tsp
Oil 3 tbsp
Seeds 2 tbsp (Seeds of your Choice)
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.
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 tranfer the dough to clean counter top.
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 keading.
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 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 a 9 by 5 inch bread tin.
Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it very lightly to degass it.
Pat the dough into an 8" rectangle.
From the end farthest to you fold the dough by an inch and half and pinch it to seal it.
Repeat till you get a roll, pinch to seal.
Tuck the end in and pinch them.
Now carefully lift the ready roll and place it in the prepared pan with the seam side down.
Brush it lightly with oil.
Spray some water over it.
Sprinkle the seeds and press lightly.
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 a bowl in the lowest 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 bowl, kept in the oven.
The steam from the hot wayer 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 if you want a soft crust. Cover it with a slightly wet cloth. Let it cool completely on wire rack before you slice it.