I recently bought the Tassajara Bread Book and was going through it when I saw variations of their basic bread recipe using various flour combinations. So I got a little adventurous and decided to experiment with some wholegrain flours I had in my kitchen while following the basic recipe from the book. I was very pleasantly surprised with the results.
My bread was surprisingly soft and crumby with a soft crust. I say “surprisingly” because I thought the flours I used would give me a very dense bread. Here’s my recipe.
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
1 ¼ cup warm water
2 ½ cup wholewheat flour
½ cup corn meal
½ cup oats
1 tbsp amaranth flour (rajgire atta)
1 tbsp soya flour
2 tbsp skim milk powder
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
sesame seeds or nigella seeds for topping (optional)
In a big vessel, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the honey and 1 cup (of the 2 ½ cups) of wholewheat flour and mix well to form a thick batter. Now beat the batter well, using a wooden spoon. The book says 100 strokes but I must have done about 40 or so. Cover this and allow it to rise for about 45 minutes.
Now add the salt, oil, remaining wholewheat flour (keep aside 2 tbsps for dusting when kneading the dough), the other flours and milk powder. Add enough water to make a dough that is firm. I did this part in my food processor. Then tip out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead by hand, adding a tsp of water at a time until the dough is smooth and just beginning to feel a little sticky.
Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to this, cover and allow to rise till double. I had to go out at this point, so I kept it in the fridge and took it out after about 5 hours, by which time it had risen perfectly. It should take about an hour or so, if kept outside at room temperature. Of course, I live in a warmer climate! The book recommends two rises, but I did it only once. Please keep it for the second rise if you prefer, I shall the next time I bake this bread. After the rise, lightly press down the dough and shape into loaves and/ or rolls. I divided the dough into two halves (approximately) and made one small loaf and 6 rolls.
Lightly oil your loaf tin and muffin tins (for the rolls). Put the shaped dough into these and allow to rise for about 25 minutes. You can brush the tops with egg wash. I used milk and sprinkled the top of my loaf with white sesame seeds and the rolls with nigella (kalonji) seeds .
Bake the loaf at 180C for about 50 minutes to an hour and the rolls for 30 to 35 minutes till they’re golden brown. Remove and cool on a rack. This bread is very nice when warm and best eaten the same day. It tends to dry out and become a bit hard the next day.
Even though I did not make this bread with BBD in mind, since it fits in with the theme of “100% Wholegrains”, I’m sending this over to Jude of Apple Pie, Patis and Pate.
I’m also sending this to Sia at Monsoon Spice who is hosting Indira’s JFI this month where the theme is “Soya”. I’m sure this is not quite what Sia had in mind when she announced the theme, but I’m hoping she will accept this bread because it does have a bit of soya flour in it.