From the time I ventured into making bread at home I have not looked back. This time I bring for you a healthy Whole Wheat Loaf for guilt free breakfast.
Two most important things in bread making are: Milk should be just warm, approx. 48 to 54 degrees Celsius .
Second is kneading. You have to knead it for good fifteen minutes for the gluten to develop, which helps the bread to rise.
Use only organic whole wheat flour or freshly milled flour for best results.
Read the entire recipe carefully , including notes before you start.
Whole wheat Flour. 2 cups
All Purpose Flour ( maida) 1 1/2 cups
Gluten. 2 tbsp
Flaxseed meal. 1 tbsp
Milk (warm) 1 1/2 cup
Instant Yeast 1 1/2 tsp
Honey 1 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Oil 2 tbsp
Milk Powder 1/4 cup
Water 2-3 tbs
Extra oil and milk for brushing
Take whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup maida, gluten, yeast,honey and warm milk. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Cover it and leave it for 30 minutes. This is called autolyse. This will help gluten to develop better.
Turn the contents on the counter top. Add remaining maida, milk powder, salt and flaxseed meal.
Mix well and start kneading .
As you knead , after a couple of minutes you might find the dough to be slightly tough.
Add a tbsp of water at a time and continue kneading. I had to use 3 tbsp of water.
When you feel the dough is sticking to your hand, add a little oil. So this way slowly incorporate 2 tbsp of oil in the dough.
Knead for good 15 minutes. By now the dough will become soft and smooth.
Keep the dough in a well greased pan, turn it around so that it is coated with oil on all sides.
Cling wrap it and keep it in a warm draft free place till it doubles in size , say for an hour and half to two depending on the temperature in your kitchen.
Grease and flour 9 by 5 inch tin. I have used a long but narrow 12" pan.
Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it again for a couple of minutes to expel out all the air.
Be very gentle with the dough.
Roll the dough into a large rectangle. Say 12 by 14".
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.
Check the length of the roll against your pan and accordingly fold and seal the ends.
Now carefully lift the ready roll and place it in the prepared pan with the seam side down.
Brush it lightly with oil. 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.
Brush the loaf with milk and oil for a nice colour.
Place it carefully in the oven.
On the bottom tray of the oven quickly throw a few ice cubes . I throw in a full ice tray.
The steam from the ice cubes 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.
You can also use a bread thermometer to check if the bread is ready. It should read 190 degrees farenheit.
Once the bread is done turn it on a wire rack.
Brush the top with oil if you want a soft crust. Let it cool completely on wire rack before you slice it.
if you are using active dry yeast then take 1/4 cup warm milk from the recipe . Now sprinkle yeast and a few grains of sugar and mix it lightly.
Keep it in a warm place for 10 minutes. You will see yeast would have ballooned by now.
Now add yeast milk mixture to all the ingredients needed for autolyse and proceed.