While I had opted out for baking my next bread using baking powder, my mom encouraged me to try the yeast again.
Later I almost decided not to, but eventually came to my senses (I would have to figure out how to bake nutritious breads with yeast anyhow).
So here is today’s baking adventure 🙂
1 dessert spoon = 0.8 table spoon
Add 1 dessert spoon of white sugar to a 1 cup of warm water – stir well. Add 1 dessert spoon of dry active yeast. Do not mix and let it stand for 10 min. It should start bubbling and form a foam on top.
Previously I used to mix the yeast with sugar and water with the help of a spoon, which did not work out well. This time, with this technique, I could see the foam on top, telling that the yeast is activated 🙂
1) Add 1.5 cup of all purpose flour, 1.5 cup of whole wheat flour, 1 dessert spoon of salt, and 3 dessert spoon of olive oil. Mix with a spoon..
2) Add the yeast mixture and mix the dough with spoon until it becomes a rough but coherent dough.
3) Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 20 min.
I admit that I was trying to do an “autolyse” step, which helps with gluten formation and ease of kneading later. It looks like I did not remember it correctly, though – they say the yeast should NOT be added at that step. But I have.. Should I sigh or be okay with it?
4) Sprinkle flour on a clean surface to start working on the dough.
The dough was sticky so I needed to use some extra flour to make it non-sticky, soft and smooth.
Knead for 4 minutes.
You will notice that as time goes on, it will become stickier again (I guess kneading helps move water within the dough). Apply little amounts of flour but do not over-saturate the dough.
5) Apply olive oil (or any other type) to the mixing bowl and place the dough in. Add *3/4 cups of sunflower seeds and mix until it becomes a uniform mixture. Cover with a thick kitchen towel and place in an oven with lights on. Let rise for **1.5 hours.
*The amount of seeds looked quite a lot at the beginning… But later turned out to be just right 🙂
**At 45 min, I noticed that the dough was not rising well. This can be mostly because a) it contains whole wheat flour that is difficult to rise, and b) the environment was not warm enough. So I turned on the oven till it reaches 102 F and then turned it off immediately. I let the dough rise for another 45 min (with the towel and the oven lights still on) in this warmer environment.
PS: I guess I should have been more liberal with the oil and cover the entire dough with it (lightly) to prevent dehydration during the rising process. I will do that next time.
6) *Lightly “punch” the dough down to get the gas out of it. Put on a floured surface.
*There should be some rising that has happened and when you punch it down, you should see it returning to its original size. And that is okay 🙂
The dough was sticky and I added a little amount of flour on my hands and the top of the dough.
Gently **stretch and fold for 4-5 times.
**This technique is done while the dough is raising to help with dough formation, but I felt like this can be a good alternative to kneading at this stage. Improvised – good or bad I am not sure. Hey, I am experimenting 🙂
7) Shape the dough and put in a greased baking dish. Score the surface of the dough as you wish and let it rise for another 45 min at the oven (with lights on and covered with a towel). It does rise 🙂
8) Mix an egg and brush the surface of the dough. Bake at 375 F for 1 hour.
I applied generous amounts of (around 20 ml) of water to the surface of the bread 3 times during the baking process, starting at the end of the initial 30 min. I repeated that when I took it out of the oven, too. I believe that helps with a rather moist bread.
9) Take out, admire the scenery, and let it cool for 10 min. Then slice and enjoy with butter or jam and a cup of nice tea! 🙂