I think I just might have the “pracrastibaking” affliction seriously. You know the kind, when you have to do a ton of work but actually end up miraculously baking .. Yep that very kind. I had a laundry list of things to do, along with the laundry. A1 was back from his trip, DH back from his . A2 had a ton of things that had to get sorted and washed and somehow ended up debating the merits of washing in cold water and electricity with me. Yes, I know we are like that. A3 could not find his one sock. Nope, we did put both for washing but somehow ended up having only one.Yikes ! We have a sock eating monster in the house. And it eats only one from each pair. Why not both? Beats me! I often thought I had only real live monsters that gobble up the food I put on the table. Actually 3 very much discerning ones ( Bitter gourd gets a bit of persuasion from me to eat) and one with a tail that can eat anything. Plastic, paper, cloth and her food. I suppose puppy phase and all!
So while waiting for the A/C repair man to show up and the stuff to finish up in the laundry, I was doodling around when some thing struck me. We had no bread in the house.Disaster.
Since, I was pretty much stuck at home and waiting for things to happen, ended up having a mental dialogue with my kitchen aid.. The shiny green thing seemed to speak to me. Either that or I was having caffeine withdrawal !
Well whatever , but the urgent need for bread in the house cannot be dispensed with, especially since I having a talk with the Kitchen Aid!
This is such a simple and basic recipe.. You can dress it up, pair it up with cheese , stuff it with potatoes , make a cream cheese swirl or so much more..
Basic Bread Ingredients:
- White whole wheat flour : 2 cups
- Bread flour / All purpose flour : 1 + 0.5 cup added as needed
- Milk 1% or 2 % : 1 cup
- Butter / olive oil : 1/3 cup
- Brown Sugar : 1.5 Tbsp.
- Salt : 1 tsp.
- Instant Yeast : 1 packet /2.25 tsp.
- Fresh lime/lemon juice : 1 Tbsp.
Herbs and Spices:
- Fresh chopped cilantro : 1/4 cup
- Fresh chopped Mint : 1/4 cup
- Cumin seeds : 1 tsp.
- Ajwain/ Carrom seeds : 1 tsp.
- Red chili flakes : 1/2 tsp.
- In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer or any mixing bowl, add the flours , sugar, yeast, salt and dry spices and whisk it very well until it is thoroughly distributed.
- Add the fresh herbs as well now and whisk it in .
- Add the chopped butter if using to the cup of milk and microwave till it is very warm. Usually a minute or so. The milk is very very warm but not boiling hot.
- Add the juice of fresh lime usually one half of it or about a tbsp. of it. And let it stand for a minute or two. Do not worry when the milk protein separates.
- Add the milk and knead it very well till the dough is smooth.
- Let it rise undisturbed for an hour until it doubles.
- Once it doubles in volume, take the dough out gently deflate it and roll it to form a log.
- Pinch the seams and place it seam side down in a greased 9 by 5 loaf pan.
- Cover and let it rise for another 20 minutes or so.
- Slash the top of the bread with a very sharp knife or a pair of scissors. About an inch deep and 2 inches in length. This accomplishes 2 things – aesthetic is one and the other is these gashes will let the steam out while bread is being baked. It will prevent the loaf from splitting on the sides
- Pre heat the oven to 375 deg F.
- Bake for about 35 -39 minutes. The bread should sound hollow when tapped.
- Cool before slicing. You should have an awesome crust and a tender crumb.
- Toast or simply eat it warmed with a dollop of butter.