Viva la Thermomix!
I’ve tried unsuccessfully for goodness knows how long to make bread at home. I have access to delicious German Volkhorn (wholegrain) bread from across the road at Baker & Cook, but the allure of the smell of freshly baked bread has kept me going back to try again and again.
My bread always came out doughy and heavy. And while I like the concept of taking your aggression out on dough, I never seemed to have the muscles or stamina to knead it enough.
Enter the Thermomix.
There is a kneading function on it, that you could get from using your stand mixer with the dough attachment.
This recipe doesn’t even use sugar. I don’t normally have an aversion to sugar, but bread in Singapore (unless you have access to specialty or artesian bakeries) has this slightly sickly sweetness to it. The second ingredient after flour in most of the commercial bread is sugar. Ugh.
The few simple rules I found helped me get my bread crusty on the outside and super soft on the inside:
1) You need to keep the yeast and the salt separate. Easily done by adding the ingredients in a particular order. Water and yeast first, then a layer of flour before adding the salt. Salt apparently “kills” yeast, and you need yeast to do their amazing work and create those lovely bubbles of air in your bread (I love how yeast is this living thing!)
2) Knead. A lot. A lot of recipes for bread in the Thermomix call for just two minutes of kneading. I get that the blades are super powerful, but I honestly think bread kneading needs time. This recipe calls for six minutes. Be patient. It’s worth it.
3) More patience required: you can’t go “I fancy a freshly baked loaf of bread, and expect to do it in under 2 1/2 hours. Yeast (that lovely living thing) needs time to work it’s magic. And on to my next tip…
4) Prove (or second ferment) the bread in the fridge overnight, or for at least eight hours. The coolness of the fridge slows down the fermentation, giving the yeast more time to give bread a better flavour.
5) I’m still playing around with ratios of plain bread flour and wholemeal spelt flour. Every time I have previously tried to make things completely wholegrain, the bread felt a little too healthy. And I figure, you have to enjoy what you eat, right? Everything in moderation, so I think at most I’d try 50:50, but I haven’t gotten there yet.
Finally (I know you’re thinking it) here is the recipe:
Ingredients makes one standard loaf
- 225g lukewarm water
- 1.5 teaspoons yeast
- 375g bakers flour
- 3-4 tablespoons of mixed seeds (I use flaxseed, sesame and poppy)
- 3/4 teaspoon of salt
- Add the ingredients in this order: water, yeast, flour, seeds, salt.
- Blitz on speed 7 for 10 seconds to roughly combine.
- Knead for 6 mins.
- Remove dough and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and place into a warm spot. (In Singapore that’s anywhere that isn’t airconditioned)
- Leave this to rise for approximately an hour or until doubled.
- Remove dough from bowl, knock out the air by shaping your dough into a free form loaf, rolls or placing it in to the desired tin.
- Allow to rise overnight in the fridge overnight until almost doubled in size. Alternatively you can just let it rise in the same warm place for another 50-60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes.