Yeast leavened wholemeal bread 1 – The Accidental Recipe
Friday 25th February 2011
As you have read, I have been attending baking school and am studying how to bake bread using yeast as the raising agent. There are two basic methods of making bread, the Straight Dough method and the Sponge & Dough method. The Straight dough method is basically, adding all the ingredients together and allowing the yeast to act before baking. The Sponge and Dough method uses about 70% of the flour, water and yeast to make the mixture rise – the sponge before the remaining 30% and other ingredients are added. Other then what I have mentioned, I will not elaborate further as there are many courses on baking and baking bread which extremely useful if you are serious and have a passion for making bread. The practical experience and exposure really does help and it’s not the same as reading instructions from a book or a website.
What I about to narrate is my failed attempts at reproducing the course recipes at home because I could not remember the recipes. Actually, I had left my notes at home and was at my mom’s place trying to remember how to make bread. What happened was a process of working from first principles and resulted in a slightly different and non-standard method of making bread. My reasoning was something like this:- Firstly we need yeast as the raising agent and yeast requires sugar to ferment and create gases for the dough to rise. Secondly, we need flour and cold water (10’C or less in Malaysia), without flour and water there will be no dough. The water & the kneading process brings out the gluten in the bread flour. Do note its bread flour and not all purpose flour or self-raising flour.
So I mixed all the flour, water, sugar and yeast and waited four hours for the dough to rise. The mixing by hand was easy and straight forward and took a few seconds. Mix the flour yeast and sugar first to ensure even distribution / dispersion in the flour before adding the water. It becomes a relatively hard lump. Once the mixture forms a lump fold it about six to eight times to ensure a good mix. That’s it.
Leave it alone for 4 hours. This will give the yeast time to convert the sugar into gases, alcohol and aromatics. The standard recipes do not add sugar at this stage as there is sufficient sugar naturally occurring in the wheat flour for the yeast to consume. I added 10% sugar for the yeast to create a lot of aromatics. Furthermore, the sponge will rise by about three to five times in the presence of the sugar compared twice the size when no additional sugar is added. Here is the recipe I ‘accidently’ developed.
|Instant Dry Yeast
|Cold Water (10’C)
|4 hours later
Mix in the rest of the ingredients and make three rolls. Place the rolls in the baking tray, see picture, and proof for half an hour.
Then bake at 210’C (410’F) for 30 minutes, more or less depending upon your oven.
The bread had a trace of sweetness
and you could lessen the sugar content to 5% (did that in the next recipe). It was good to eat. Yeast based breads are tastier then baking soda or baking powder based breads because of the aromatics but you ‘knead’ the patience.