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When I lived in France for a year the thought of eating freshly baked bread from the round the corner boulangerie would wake me up early on the weekend. And so I discovered the joy of fresh bread. Living in Nepal, there was a lovely Nepalese baker who made multigrain bread, baguette and Italian Focacia, So I had what I wanted. He was trained in Italy and his bread, croissants and pain au chocolat were a big hit in Kathmandu amongst locals and expatriates.
When I moved to Ahmedabad, India at the beginning of this year, I was dying for good fresh bread and since it was impossible to find any, I decided to try my hand at bread baking and after a few baking disasters, I think I found the simplest, most efficient and perfect Bread Recipe. The original wheat bread recipe is here. Below is my multi grain version of it.
Ingredients (I use all organic ingredients):-
2 cups whole wheat flour (the kind we use to make rotis)
1 cup Sorghum/Jowar flour
1/2 cup Chestnut flour (you could use maize, or millet, or rice flour)
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
1 cup warm water (blood temperature)
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
1 packet dry yeast (I used about 40gms of dry sourdough that I brought from France)
- In a large bowl stir together 1 cup water, with the salt, honey, dry sourdough, milk and oil.
- Mix in the whole wheat flour, the sorghum flour and the chestnut flour and stir until the dough begins to pull away form the sides of the vessel.
- Roll the dough in a little flour and knead for 6-10 minutes. Sprinkle flour if the dough gets too wet while kneading. Too much kneading never does any harm so knead away! The dough should not be sticky when you are done.
- Roll the dough in a small amount of oil, place in a large bowl and cover with a towel and let the dough rise for about an hour. The dough should double in size. Ideal room temperature is between 25 and 30 degree Celsius.
- Shape the dough into a log and place in a bread baking tin, generously sprinkle sesame seeds and press slightly so they get embedded. Mark the dough with lines or curves as you like. Then cover loosely with towel and let it rise for another hour.
- Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius, place in centre of oven and cook for 20 minutes, then remove tin, cover with aluminum foil and cook for another 20 minutes. Move the rack up one step if you feel the sides may be overcooked compared to the top.
- If thumping on the bottom of the bread produces a hollow sound your bread is done. Let it cool before slicing.
Enjoy your home made bread, with salads or cheese, or with butter and jam.
Try this Spanish recipe:
Cut a tomato in half and rub the juice on a slice of multi grain bread (slice could be grilled). Rub a peeled and cut in half garlic and pour a few drops of olive oil on the slice. You have your Spanish Pan con tomate. Can be eaten with cold cut meat, in tapas or simply with salad.