As we embark on another fortnight of lockdown and social distancing, some people are now restless and tired of being cooped up indoors.
While some employees are working from home, other people are turning to social media or binge-watching movies and TV shows.
During the lockdown, some people across urban India are turning to making bread for solace in the times of coronavirus.
From kneading dough to waiting for the dough to rise and get a warm brown crust, there is nothing quite as calming as making bread. People also love the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread. This could be the reason why bread making has become so popular, as it offers several hours of serenity, fun and distraction.
If you would like to try your hand at making bread, here are some bread recipes that you can follow...
The king of breads and a popular delight, sourdough which originated in Europe, can be made at home, with the right ingredients and consistency.
It has a considerably low glycemic index when compared to other breads, and a good shelf life. Slightly bitter in taste, the bread can be eaten with bakes and meat dishes, and even with cream and jam. Older and slightly stale sourdough can be dipped in cheese fondue.
If you learn to crack making sourdough bread, there is absolutely nothing like it, as you no longer have to depend on going to the store to get some. Consider it a new skill developed.
Prep: 1 day 45 minutes
Makes 2 loaves
1 cups levain/ sourdough starter
6 3/8 cups unbleached bread flour
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
3 1/4 cups water reserve 50 grams
4 teaspoons salt
Build the Levain – The night before you wish to mix the dough, combine 1 tablespoon mature starter, 100 grams water and 100 grams all-purpose unbleached flour in a clean jar. Cover the jar and let it sit overnight.
Autolyse –Mix the levain, 800 grams bread flour, 200 grams whole wheat flour and 700 grams of water in a large mixing bowl with your hands or a spatula until it forms a sticky mass. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or a towel and let it rest for 1 hour.
Add Salt – Add 20 grams of salt and the remaining 50 grams of water to the dough. Use your hands to pinch the dough so that the salt and water are incorporated well. Cover the bowl and let rest for 1 hour.
Bulk Fermentation –Remove the cover and stretch and fold the dough. Starting on the right side, wet your hand and then pull the dough up and over itself to the opposite side of the bowl. Turn the bowl a quarter-turn and repeat this 3 times until you have completed 4 stretch and folds. Repeat for a total of 3 sets every 30 minutes. Cover and let it rise on the counter at room temperature for 4-5 hours or until the dough has risen 1.5 times its original size.
Pre-shape – Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and cut the dough in half. Use the bench scraper to shape the dough into a tight round. Cover with a towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
Final Shape – Lightly flour the top of the dough and flip it over using the bench scraper. Pull the right side up and over to the centre. Repeat with the left, top and bottom sides. Flip the seam side down, cup your hands around the dough and gently pull it towards yourself. Turn the dough in a circular motion on the work surface and repeat these steps until the dough has a "tight skin". Dust the top of the dough with flour and place it in a bowl, seam side up, that's been lined with a floured tea towel.
Let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes, coverit with a plastic sheet and place it in the refrigerator overnight to ferment.
Bake – Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit/ 232 degrees celcius (without the Dutch oven inside).
Remove the sourdough from the refrigerator, place a piece of parchment paper on top and invert the dough onto the paper. Use the paper to pick up the dough and place it into the cold Dutch oven. Score the top of the dough with a razor or sharp knife. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Cool –Carefully remove the bread from the oven and let it cool for 2 hours before slicing.
(Recipe from amyinthekitchen)
Garlic pull apart buns
Garlic pull apart buns are packed with flavour, and can be eaten as a snack or even as a side dish, with a soup or a salad. They are easy to make and will leave you wanting more. They are perfect finger foods for children and you must try making them during the lockdown.
Prep: 30 minutes
Makes 2 loaves
1 cup 8 oz warm water
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
1 cup 8 oz milk (I used 1%)
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2 - 6 1/2 cups 1 lb 9 oz - 2 lbs 3 oz bread flour
8 tablespoons butter melted
1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped (or 4 teaspoons dried)
2 Tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1. Add warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Sprinkle water with sugar and yeast. Stir and let it stand 5-10 minutes until foamy.
2. Mix in butter, milk, salt and 3 cups of flour. Stir in additional flour gradually. Add enough flour until dough is smooth. Knead for 7-10 minutes.
Dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl but clears sides. It will be soft and slightly sticky. (Kneading can also be kneaded by hand and will take closer to 10 minutes to a achieve a smooth dough.) Divide dough into 2 equal portions.
3. In a small bowl, combine the butter, parsley, oregano and minced garlic. set aside.
4. Cut dough into 1-inch pieces and dip into the butter mixture. Layer the buttery pieces into 2 greased 8-inch x 4-inch loaf pans.
5. Cover loaves and let them rise until doubled in size, for about 1 hour.
6. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 350 degrees, 15 minutes prior to the full rise. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. The temperature of the baked loaves should read 200 degrees. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
(Recipe from gather for bread)
Sundried tomato and olive bread
Olives and tomato breads are a great source of Vitamin C and you should consider baking this for the whole family. Simple and non time consuming, you can make a few loaves and store them. The bread can be eaten at breakfast and is a great accompaniment with pasta dishes, fish, chicken breast and wine.
Prep: 40 minutes
Makes 16 slices
1 1/2 teaspoons regular active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/3 cups warm water (105°F to 115°F which is 40-46 degree celcius)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups bread flour or Gold Medal, all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained, chopped, patted dry
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered, patted dry
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. In a large bowl, combine yeast and sugar and add 1/3 cup of the water. Let it stand 10 minutes or until the yeast is dissolved and foamy.
2. Add the remaining 1 cup water and salt. Stir in white whole wheat flour, cornmeal and 1 1/2 cups of the bread flour, slowly adding additional flour as necessary to make dough easy to handle.
3. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Gently knead in sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Place dough in large bowl, greased with oil, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover the bowl loosely with a plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray and let it rise in warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size. The dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
4. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Place dough on lightly floured surface; press to 10x8-inch oval. Fold 1 long side up to the center; press edge into dough. Fold other long side over to centre; press edge into dough (seam will be visible on top). Pinch and press each end to form point. Place dough on cookie sheet. Cover loosely with a plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray and let it rise in warm place for 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
5. Heat oven to 400°F. Brush the loaf with oil. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Cool completely on cooling rack, for about 1 hour.
(Recipe from Betty Crocker)
Packed with protein, fibre, and whole grains, raisin bread has the right balance of sweet and sour. Wonderful to smell while baking, it is one bread which is high on nutrition, and so comfortable on the palate. Mixed with a cinnamon blend, it is a perfect treat.
You can eat it while drinking your coffee, or spread some fruity jams or honey on top for those who have occasional sweet cravings.
Fried pakoras or French fries? Here’s how to enjoy comfort foods the healthy way during the COVID-19 lockdown
Prep: 15 min. Bake: 55 min. + cooling
Makes 2 loaves (12 slices each)
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup raisins
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine flour, 1-1/2 cups sugar, soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in raisins. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; set aside.
2. Spoon half the batter into 2 greased 8x4-in. loaf pans. Sprinkle with half of the reserved cinnamon sugar; repeat layers. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl.
3. Bake 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
4. Freeze option: Wrap cooled bread in foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To use, thaw at room temperature.
(Recipe from Taste of Home)
A sweet cake like bread, banana bread is something you must try at home during the lockdown. Get a few overripe bananas and head to the kitchen. For those who love chocolate, adding in a few chocolate chips and walnuts will take this bread to another level.
You can even throw in some cocoa for good measure if you would like your standard banana bread to be transformed into a double chocolate banana bread.
Prep: 45 minutes
Makes 12 slices
How to make it
1. First, preheat your oven at 180 degrees C or 350 degrees F. Then take ripe or overripe 3 to 4 medium to large sized or 2 large bananas. In weight, the measure is 300 grams or 10.5 ounce. Slice the bananas and add them to a mixing bowl.
2. Add ½ cup sugar. You can use brown sugar, organic unrefined cane sugar or granulated white sugar. All work well in this recipe. Depending on the sweetness of bananas, you can reduce the sugar to ⅓ cup.
3. Then mash the bananas with a masher or fork to a smooth consistency. There should be no chunks. You can also use a blender to mash the bananas. (It’s alright for fine banana threads to be present.)
4. Add ½ cup oil (125 ml). You can use any oil like sunflower oil, rice bran oil and even olive oil.
5. Once the oil is mixed well with the banana puree, add ¼ tsp cinnamon powder, 2 to 3 pinches or ⅛ tsp of nutmeg powder and ½ tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract.
(Both cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder are optional.)
6. Sieve 1½ cups whole wheat flour (180 grams), ½ tsp baking soda, 1½ tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt (optional) directly in the bowl.
7. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients very well. Don’t mix. This folding step is very important as you want the whole bread mixture to be one and mixed evenly without the batter getting deflated.
8. Add 1 to 2 tbsp sunflower seeds. You can also add chopped walnuts or choco chips or any dry fruit of your choice.
Baking the bread
Pour the batter in a greased or lined loaf pan (8 x 4 x 2.5 inches) or round cake pan (8 x 2 inches). Bake in the preheated oven at 180 degree C for 30-40 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean.
(Recipe from Veg Recipes of India)
(Edited by Asha Chowdary)
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