Tuesday, January 6, 2009

White Loaf

This is a basic, have-it-on-hand-at-all-times white bread with a difference--its got full, rounded flavor and a substantial texture; not your average sandwich loaf. And it makes great toast-the little bit of butter browns nicely under heat. Its got a crunchy crust and very softy inside.

Makes 1 Loaf

1 1/4 cups warm water
1/2 tbsp Active dry yeast
1/2 tbsp sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour or all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp Salt
1/4 stick butter(1 ounce) unsalted butter, at room temperature


Mixing and kneading; Pour 1/4 cup of water into a large bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast and sugar, and whisk to blend. Allow the mixture to rest until the yeast is creamy, about 5 minutes.

Sift the flour and salt together. Add the remaining 1 cup of water and half of the flour to the yeast and start mixing it with a wooden spatula. Add the remaining flour and start working with your hands till the dough comes together(if the dough does not come together, add a bit more flour, a tablespoon at a time). Work until the dough is smooth and elastic. Knead it with your hands on a lightly floured surface for 8 to 10 minutes.

When the dough is thoroughly mixed, add the butter, a tablespoon at a time and knead until incorporated. Dont be disconcerted if the beautiful dough comes apart with the addition of butter-kneading will bring it back together.

First rise; Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a ball. Place it in a large buttered or oiled bowl and turn the dough around to cover its entire surface with butter or oil. Cover and let the dough rest at room temperature until it doubles in bulk, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
During winter switch the oven to max for 2 minutes and swich it off. Place a bowl of boiling water in the bottom of the oven and place the bowl with the dough in the center rack. Close the oven and let it rise.

Shaping the dough; Butter a loaf pan and set aside.
Deflate the dough and turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle. With the short side facing you, start rolling the dough and seal the seam by pinching it. Drop the loaf into the pan, seam side down.

Second Rise; Place the loaf in a warm place covered with a loose oiled plastic wrap until they double in size again growing over the tops of the pan about 45 minutes.

Baking the bread; Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 deg F. When the loaf has fully risen, bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until they are honey brown. Cool completely before cutting.

Storing; Once completely cool, the bread can be kept in a brown paper bag for a day or two. Once the loaf is sliced,turn it cut side down on a cutting board and cover with a kitchen towel. For longer storage, wrap the bread airtight and freeze for upto a month. Thaw still wrapped at room temperature.


Jo said...

Hi Ramya, happy new year and what a great recipe to kick start. I've yet to try a simple white loaf but will add this to my "must trys" for 2009.

Vij said...

wow! such soft n moist bread! gr8 baking... well done.

Renato - Sugar Nut said...

Beautiful bread, Ramya!
And it's such an easy and straightforward recipe! I'm still planning on when I'll bake my own successful homemade bread.
Ah, and nice blog, too!
- Renato

Ramya Kiran said...

Thank you jo, and wish you too the same. Waiting to see how the bread turns out for you..

Vij and Renato, thank you too..

Anonymous said...

Hello Ramya,

I used your recipe to bake simple and hearty white bread loaf. Perfect! Thank You!

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