Just in case you think I do nothing but blog, let me show you that I'm not that lazy. I baked 3 loaves of multi-grain bread yesterday. I thought I could keep it for our overnight fishing trip this weekend but they're all gone.
Yi said her friend Z thought a bother baking bread when I can just use a bread-making machine. Well, I forgive the young lady since she's from Singapore where nobody cooks anything anymore.
It used to frustrate me that I could make 3 or 4-tier wedding cakes for special friends but not make a loaf of bread. Whatever bread I made was like stone. One night (3 years ago) I decided to throw everything into my Kenwood Major and guess what? The bread was so soft and heavenly I remember the whole family eating it all in the TV room at 10 pm. Since then I've learnt that you just need a good strong machine to knead through all that gluten. It is just so exciting and satisfying to see the dough rise--I think Jamie Oliver said it best about the the joy of making your own bread. I know machine-made bread is just as good, but ...well, try it yourself.
900g hi-protein/bread flour
1 1/4 cup multi-grain
3 t dry yeast (make sure it's active)
4 to 5 T fine sugar
4 T low-fat milk powder
1 t salt (or more if like)
520 ml cold water (more if necessary)
100g butter or veg oil (can omit if health-conscious)
1. Put everthing into mixer bowl and, using the 'J' hook for kneading, knead for 8 minutes at medium speed till dough is smooth and springs back when you poke it lightly. If your machine is not heavy-duty, pause every now and then to let it cool but the total kneading time must be at least 8 min.
2. Cover the dough (still in the mixer bowl) with a cloth and leave for 1 hour.
3. Punch dough down and divide into 3 portions. Take one portion, flour working surface and a rolling pin and roll it into a disc about 1 cm thick. Then roll it up like a swiss roll and place it, seam-side down, into a greased loaf pan. Do same with the other two pieces of dough. Leave the dough to proof in unheated oven, for 1 1/2 hours until it's 2 1/2 times its original size.
4. Heat oven at 200 C for at least 10 min. Egg-wash the breads' tops and put into oven, middle rack. Be very light-handed. You don't thud it or it'll sink! Bake 10 min, then increase heat to 230 C and bake another 20 min. If it browns too much, cover with a piece of foil or switch to bottom element.
Note: Eat with Lurpak or President butter! If you want plain bread, just omit the multi-grain and use equivalent amount of hi-protein flour. Adjust the amount of water and flour because sometimes the absorbancy of the flours differ.