I love my bread machine. Guess some of you know that already. I blogged about making bread some time ago. You can read the post here Loving the bread machine. That said, there is one thing I don’t like about my bread machine. There is a problem every time I bake loaf breads in the machine. You see, it has to do with the blade in the bread pan. When the loaf is baked in the bread machine, there will be an unsightly hole at the base of the loaf. When I slice the loaf there will be at least two slices with a hole. One way to get around this is to remove the blade after kneading is completed and continue to let the bread bake in the bread machine and another is to remove the dough, proof and bake it in the oven. I chose the latter as I wanted to try shaping it and baking in a loaf tin.
I made a loaf of soft wholemeal bread yesterday. I loved the outcome of the loaf. It was soft, fluffy and delicious. It was easy to make and didn’t require many ingredients or steps. I had planned to make white bread but at the last minute decided to add a bit of wholemeal flour. My daughter is not a fan of wholemeal bread so I had to sneak a little in to get her to start liking it bit by bit. Well, she ate it without even asking me why it’s not white. I made some egg mayo and she enjoyed a good old egg sandwich as an after school snack.
Though I made this loaf with the help of my bread machine, you can also make it by hand or with an electric mixer with a dough hook. If you are making by hand, you just need to combine everything and form a dough, knead it for ten minutes, then knead the butter into the dough and continue until the dough doesn’t stick to your hands. I had a very aching arm when I tried making bread dough by hand because it does take quite of lot of time and strength for the dough to reach the stage whereby it is elastic and not sticky. It’s better to use an electric mixer, attach a dough hook and let the mixer do the hard work for you. Add everything into the bowl of the mixer, except for butter which is to be added ten minutes later when everything has been incorporated.
Soft Wholemeal Loaf Bread
195g bread flour
55g wholemeal flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon milk powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
20g unsalted butter
170ml cold water
- Add ingredients following your bread machine’s instructions and set to dough function.
- Remove dough from bread machine when kneading is completed. Place dough in a slightly oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Let it proof for one hour.
- Prepare a loaf tin by lining it with parchment paper or lightly greasing the tin.
- After one hour, test if the dough has proofed properly by depressing the dough with a finger. It should form a deep indentation on the dough and the depression should stay. There shouldn’t be any dough sticking to the finger you used.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough by hand for about five minutes. This is to expel the trapped gas in the dough.
- Next, divide the dough into three equal portions.
- Lightly dust your hands and rolling pin with flour. Flatten each portion of dough with the rolling pin into an oval shape. Roll the dough from the base of the oval all the way up. Place the dough into the loaf tin. Repeat till all three portions are done.
- Cover the loaf tin with cling wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- After ten minutes, repeat process in Step 7. Place the rolled up dough into the loaf tin and let it proof a second time. Cover the dough with cling wrap. The second proofing will take one hour.
- After one hour is up, you will notice that the dough has doubled in size.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
- Brush a little milk on the top of the dough and bake in pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the loaf tin from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before removing the loaf and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Slice with a sharp knife and enjoy the homemade freshness!