When I was little, we did not have whole wheat bread, multi-grain bread or maybe we did , we were unaware and as far as we knew, everyone went in for the 'regular' kind of bread. It was white bread and Paav.
You either buy a loaf of Wibs or Britannia sliced bread and if you want paav, you scoot down to the local bakery and buy a slab (called 'laadi') or even individual rolls. Making bread at home was not even thought of and we did not have an oven. In fact, there was this bhaiyaji who would come to our home and those in the neighborhood on his cycle carrying bags full of fresh baked bread and new laid eggs. He would wrap the bread in newspaper and hand over what we wanted and I would hand over the money ( .25 paise for a paav) he would then jokingly ask me, "baida chahiye kya baby?" (baida meaning egg) and hold an egg in his hand and offer it to me, knowing fully well that we did not eat eggs and cackle when I would shudder!
I would slather the paav / bread slices with Amul butter and dip it in my tea or maybe I'd add a slosh of ketchup or jam and eat it, enjoying every soft bite.
I never dreamed I'd make bread at home. Well, not successfully that is. Years ago, when I went to a cookery class, the instructor taught us bread, she made it look kinda easy. By that time, we had purchased an oven at home and my cousin and I were VERY eager to try our hand at making bread. The whole thing is a bit of a blur, but I do remember this, they made excellent paper weights.
I gave up on baking. At least for the time being. I was down, but not completely out.
I made a couple of attempts after that, with no success. Gave up, yet again.
Then I hit the jack pot......I read the recipe over and over for days, tempted yet I had not the courage. I then attempted and succeeded in making pizza. I had overcome my fear of yeast, in part. This gave me courage to try bread and boy! am I glad I did!!!
Just like the last time, I chewed my nails to zero when the bread was in the oven, this time around as well. But I should have believed. The result was a perfect loaf! Yaaay!
I could not keep still, I could hardly stand the wait, I even 'fanned' the loaf with the oven mitt to cool it faster and sliced it. Look at the picture below and learn from my mistakes. Let the loaf cool. Completely.
Over excitement? Take a deep calming breath, count to 10 and then slice, if you do not do this, the knife shakes and cuts unevenly, see? No harm done to the loaf, just don't look very pretty.
I made this a couple of times and with equal success. My friends shared it with me and gave me the thumbs up sign. I only wish my parents were here with me to enjoy it.
Makes: Two - 8 1/2 x 4 1/2x 2 3/4 inch loaves
2 1/2 tsp ( 1 envelope) Active Dry Yeast
2 Cups warm Water
5 - 5 1/2 Cups All Purpose flour (APF)
1 Tbs. Sugar
5 Tbs. Unsalted Butter or Vegetable Oil
Whisk the yeast into the warm water and set aside and prepare other ingredients
To mix dough by hand: place 5 Cups APF, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl and stir in yeast mix and melted butter
Continue to mix until the mix resembles a rough dough
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 mins. If the dough is too soft and sticky, add flour 1 tbs. at a time.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to oil all surfaces
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour
Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface (you may need a scraper). Deflate the dough and divide into 2.
To form a loaf, make sure the surface is free of any excess flour, then stretch the dough until it is approximately the length of the pan, then fold in the short ends, then fold in the far long edge over tot he middle. Fold over the other long side and compress to form a tight cylinder
Place the loaf in the pan, seam side down and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with second loaf and allow it to rise until double ( about 1 hour)
When loaves are almost double, set a rack in the middle level of the oven and pre-heat to 400 deg. F
When the loaves have completely risen, place the pans in the oven and bake for 30 mins ot until golden brown and firm and internal temperature is 210 deg.
Unmold the loaves to a cooling rack to cool on side.
Cool completely and slice. Enjoy.Pin It