Feb 5, 2013

Pretty Hard to Mess With

Do you have any idea how good it is to eat a piece of freshly baked bread? 

I'm pretty sure you know this. But in case you don't, let me tell you. 

It's good. It's EASY and very satisfying. I know it is. Now my sister knew too. She got me to teach her late one evening. So we got down to business. Step by step, I let her do it all herself. The measuring and everything. Getting all the ingredients ready before you start is the key to success. Besides reducing the risk of forgetting to add an ingredient, it also helps you organised. 

This recipe should be fool proof. If I haven't fell in love with it already, I'll do so now. The sweetness is just right. The chewiness is just right. As corny as it may sound, this is THE BREAD. Yeah, okay. That statement is open for debate.

My sister has been making the bread in the house nowadays. It's a pretty telling sign that making bread is not such a chore. You'll come to love it. It's kind of therapeutic thing they said. -I'm guessing the kneading part!- 

Sweet Bread Dough

1 cup water
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast + 1 tsp sugar

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn/olive oil
2 tsp salt 
3 cups all purpose flour + a bit more for kneading

  1. In a large bowl : Pour in water + yeast + 1 teaspoon sugar. Let it bloom - it should look frothy
  2. Once the yeast ready, stir in sugar + oil + salt + flour, one cup at a time. 
  3. Work the dough till it cleanse the bowl but feels slightly sticky. Sprinkle some flour all over the dough and start kneading it. It should become elastic and smooth after kneading about 10 - 20 minutes. 
    Always go by the feel. When press with fingertips and the dough immediately return to it's original state, that's a sign to stop kneading. 
    Only  sprinkle more flour if it too sticky. We don't want a hard and tough bread
  4. Lightly oil the bowl and all over the dough. Cover with a clean damp cloth or cling wrap. Let rise for 1 hour or until double in volume. Depends on the weather, sometimes longer. Could be 2 hours if it cold outside
  5. After the first rising, punch out the air inside dough. Lightly knead a few times and let rest for 15 minutes before shaping into buns or rolls. At this time, the dough can be refrigerate in an airtight container if not using immediately. Just let the cold dough sit out for 1 hour at room temperature before using

The dough can be use to make rolls, two loaves or what we always made at home : fruity flat bread.  

  1. Divide dough into two equal size. Flatten one part of the dough into rectangle and sprinkle 1/2 cup of mixed dried  fruits - we love raisins and dried cranberries! - Fold dough to encased the fruits between it. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar on top. This will gives the bread slightly crunchy crust and sparkle! Then, using lightly oiled hand flatten the folded dough until the thickness resembles pizza crust. Make sure the fruits didn't break out of the top part or else it'll burn during baking
  2. Transfer to greased baking pan, or you can just make the flat bread in the pan. Only grease the pan liberally first so the dough won't stick to it. Let rise again for 20 minutes. 
  3. Right before baking, make several indentation on top. Bake in preheated oven, 230 Celsius for 12 - 15 minutes or until golden brown
  4. Once out of oven, immediately transfer the bread onto cooling rack. Cut into 1 inch pieces as a snack food!
  5. You can do the same thing for the other half of dough. Or save it again for later...

  • I'm going to use this dough as a pizza crust. Maybe add some herbs during the mixing process. Might be interesting to play with... ^_^ 
  • Check out more breads right over at YeastSpotting

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