FLUFFY LOAF

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I love making ciabatta bread the most because it is easier than baguettes and the ingredients are as simple. And I can still get crispy crust with good crumb. But once in a while, I would miss the texture of a fluffy white loaf and tasty French toast that can be made from it. 

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This recipe is almost the same as ciabatta (click here for recipe) except with the replacement of water with warm milk and the addition of 1 teaspoon of sugar and an egg for the main dough. The overnight starter stays the same.

For the final proofing, shape dough into a loaf and let it rise in a baking tin for a good 2 hours before baking in a 425F pre-heated oven for 35 minutes. 

FRENCH BATARD

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This is a happy moment!

From basic white bread to artisan bread that bakes in a pot, I’ve been trying to search for the recipe to make the kind of crusty bread that I like to be my daily staple. It was until I chance upon a 6 part video posted by King Arthur’s flour baking factory (click here for the first video) demonstrating French Baguette and Batard using the traditional way. It seems time consuming but the result is amazing and just the way I like it.

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The overall preparation time takes 5 hours but I realized it is not a trouble at all as I normally spend Sundays tidying up my home and explore new recipes so I can still carry on with my activities while the dough is rising.

The little drama came during my second attempt when my dough was in the final rising stage. During pre-heating, my oven decides to retire after a 10 good years of partnership.

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In that split moment, I was lost. Don’t know what to do with the dough. Throwing it away is my last option. Purchasing a new oven won’t make it in time. Then Mr Raju appears in my mind. He is the helpful neighbor who brings us nice food during Deepavali. When I approach him for help, he stopped whatever he is doing and lends me his oven without a slight hesitation.  

The over rising time and the transferring flattened the dough. My hard earned French Batard came out a little flat but it was good just the way I like it.

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This recipe makes one small loaf.

1/4 tsp dry instant yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp sugar

All-purpose flour (enough to mix until it sticks together and away from the bowl)

 

My Sunday routine

8:00 am- Mixing and Kneading

In a bowl, mix two cups of flour with salt and sugar. Mix yeast into water. Pour yeast with water into flour and start mixing. Add in more flour and mix until the dough sticks together into a ball and away from the bowl. Sprinkle some flour on table and knead dough for 10 minutes. Sprinkle more flour when dough gets sticky during the kneading process. Place it back to the bowl and cover with moist towel to rise for 2 hours.

8:20am – Morning run

10:00 am – Folding

Sprinkle some flour on table. Spread dough on table and stretch out on 4 sides. Fold all sides inwards like wrapping a present and place dough seam side down back into bowl. Cover with moist towel to rise for 1 hour.

10:05 am – Breakfast and grocery shopping at the local market

11:00 am – Pre-shaping

Sprinkle some flour on table. Place dough seam side up and pat on it to release extra gas. Fold the sides to the centre and shape it into a ball. Place dough seam side down back to bowl. Cover with moist towel to rise for 1 hour.

11:05 am – Tidy up home

12:00 noon – Final shaping

Sprinkle some flour on table. Place dough seam side up and pat on it to release extra gas. Shape it into a Batard and place dough seam side down on baking dish. Cover with moist towel to rise for 1 hour.

12:05 pm – Rest and relax

1:00 pm – Baking

Pre-heat your oven to 425F. After slitting the dough, spray with water and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

I am now baking with my new oven that produces great results.

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ARTISAN BREAD

After a success in baking my first basic bread following the recipes from two beautiful bloggers Anto and Kenley , I got adventurous and tried the now popular artisan bread or bread in a pot.

Artisan bread is really easy to make but unfortunately, it just wasn’t the kind of bread texture that I like. My first try botched with the dough being too wet. After adjusting the amount of ingredient, my second attempt turns out well.

The crispy crust was what I wanted but not the internal. Unless I am doing it wrong, the inside of artisan bread is gummy even when it is well done. I did some research and found out that it is due to the long rising time which produces loads of gluten that contributes to its texture.

If you happen to bake it better, please share your experience with me. I would love to know more.

I have always been intimidated by baking but now that I’ve started, I am in for it to try more recipes.

¼ tsp yeast

1 ¼ cups of warm water

1 ½ tsp salt

3 cups of flour

In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add salt and flour. Mix all ingredients well, cover with moist towel and leave it to rise for 8 to 12 hours. Sprinkle flour on worktop and fold the dough a few times without over working it. Sprinkle cornmeal, flour or oats into bowl, put the dough in and cover with moist towel to rise for another one hour. Preheat oven with a pot to 475F/245C. Transfer dough into pot, cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove bread from pot and let it cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.