Baking bread at home? Well, it’s not an impossible feat!
Oh, I seem to have been hit by a baking bug… I can’t stop baking. This week, I experimented with baking rye bread at home and was quite happy with the final outcome. The bread was full of robust taste and texture with a crisp crust.
You can serve it with chipotle mayo/cream cheese, lettuce, tomato and cheese or simply some good old marmalade! Rye is readily available in India and is known as Ragi.
1 pkt yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 tbsp. brown sugar, heaped
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cocoa
3 tbsp. oil
1-cup rye flour
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. flax seeds, soaked and drained
1 tbsp. sesame, black/white mix
1 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp. sunflower seeds
1 tbsp. caraway seeds
Feel free to vary the combination and adjust the amount
Reserve 1 tbsp. of this combination for topping
Corn meal for dusting.
Prepare yeast mixture with 1 tbsp. of yeast in ¼ cup of warm water. Stir lightly once and let it froth for 10 minutes.
Put the flours into a warm bowl with the dry ingredients, oil, and salt, and mix well.
Mix the ingredients with yeast liquid to form a sticky dough, and then tip on to a floured board or work surface.
Form the dough into a ball, and then knead for a good 10 minutes.
Lightly oil the bowl then return the dough to it, cover with damp tea cloth/plastic wrap, then set aside in a warm, draught-free place until it doubles in size, about 1 ½ hour.
Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a lightly floured board and knead again, for about 5 minutes. Push the dough away from you using the heel of one hand to stetch it, then pull it towards you using your fingertips, rolling it back into a rough ball. The dough is ready when it springs back to the touch. This pull and push process is very essential to get a good quality bread.
At this stage, I tend to tap/hit the dough with my rolling pin. It’s called punching for no reason. The process incorporates air into the dough, and is also a good exercise on kitchen-anger management.
Shape dough into a loaf, sprinkle the topping, and place in the greased /dusted pan. Cover with a damp cloth.
Let the dough rise for a further 60 minutes.
Set the oven at 180 C. Bake until lightly brown, and crisp on top, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven, leave for 10 minutes in the pan, then lift out and leave to cool on a rack before slicing.
Yields one loaf, 12 slices.
I served it with a bowl of lentil soup, rosemary-caraway potatoes, caramelized onion, cheese slices and grilled tomatoes with feta cheese.
My verdict…nothing tastes more delicious than freshly baked bread at home.
(Recipe adapted from Taste of Home)