There are a million ways to shape bread in fun, innovative and very creative ways. But the basic recipe to bake it remains the same. So here is the standard basic bread recipe. I have tried some different shapes but the recipe for all of them is this one.
Plain flour 1 Cup
Milk/ Water 1/3-1/2 Cup
Salt 1/2 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tbsp
Dried / Instant Yeast 3/4 tsp
Butter 3/4 tbsp
1. Preheat the oven at 175C
2. Mix yeast and sugar in a bowl
3. Warm 3 tbsp water and add it to the yeast mix and set it aside for 5 minutes
4. Sift and mix the plain flour and salt.
5. Add the yeast mix to the flour mix and combine well
6. Make it into a dough by adding water.
7. Knead the dough for 10-12 minutes till it is soft and elastic
8. Keep it in a greased bowl covered with a damp cloth for an hour or till it doubles in size.
9. Knock down the dough, knead for 1-2 minutes and leave it on the baking dish that you would be using for the actual baking covered with a damp cloth for half hour
10. Bake for 15-18 minutes till the top of the bread gets a nice brown colour and the bottom is hollow when tapped.
1. The best way to knead the dough for bread is to spread it length-wise and fold it into two and repeat. Your hand movement would be akin to brushing your clothes with a brush while washing i.e. push the dough away (extend / spread it) and bring it back. The kneading makes all the difference to the quality of the bread
2. If you are stuffing your bread with any filling or making it into any shape, then it needs to be done after the dough is rested for the first hour and before it is set to rest for the second time.
3. Th water mixed with yeast and sugar should not be too hot or room temperature. If it is too hot, the yeast die and so the bread will not rise. If it is not warm enough, the yeast will not start acting on the dough until late and will result in a dense bread.
4. If the yeast does not get to a froth in the warm water within 2-3 minutes, it means the yeast has gone stale and cannot be used.
5. The same recipe can be used with wheat flour or a mix of plain flour and wheat flour