Monday, January 5, 2009

no kneading required!

ok, back in the 40s, an american housewife by the name of doris grant came up with this recipe. no kneading required! perfect for working housewives. hey, back in those days, i guess this is women empowerment.

i actually did a combination of the pre-ferment and the grant loaf method. why, i haven't baked for 2 weeks due to all the pesky biz trips, so am suffering from "not-having-enough-of-own-bread" syndrome. also, i started at only 3pm and wanted everything done the day itself. the "pre-ferment" method gives very active yeast and i enjoy working with them (before i kill them off in the oven).

as the norm lately, went with the favourite multi-seed bread, namely flaxseed, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, don't seem to tire of this at all!

  • 4 cups of flour - anything you like! i went for 1 rye, 1 wholemeal + 2 whites
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp honey (more is fine)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of sunflower, pumpkin and flaxseeds.
  • about 1.5 cups of water
at about 2.50pm, i mixed 1/4 tsp of instant yeast into 1 cup of rye flour and 3/4 cup of water. this "pre-ferment" is supposed to sit for at least 12 hours but i wanted to complete everything that day itself, so at 7pm, i mixed the rest of the ingredients together.

it's mixing and not kneading as the whole mixture is a bit too wet to knead, so your aim is to ensure the ingredients are mixed properly. if it looks dry, add more water! i always feel that when in doubt, err on the "wet" side.

then dump everything into a well-oiled 4" x 4" x 8" loaf pan. just scoop them up and dump into the loaf pan. doesn't have to look nice as the dough will grow nicely into the loaf pan. it's nice to use a loaf pan here as this recipe calls for only a single rise and the loaf pan helps maintain its shape. the whole dough mixture filled up to about slightly more than half of the loaf pan.

at about 10pm, time to heat up the oven! actually i should have waited more, till  it's almost touching the top of the loaf pans but i'm too sleepy... before i put into the oven, i sprinkled some rolled oats and almond flakes on top.

using a loaf pan, a hotter temperature of 200C is better but i went for 180C so i had to wait for about 40 minutes. dang... if you use 200C, i'm sure you could call it a day earlier...

and voila! we have bread!

actually i baked 2 loaves at the same time. one was a bit dry. the "wetter" rose better. the top isn't curved, i guess it's due to all the rolled oats and almonds i sprinkled on top.   hee hee...

once the bread is done, remember to remove it from the loaf pan. don't wait till it's cool! use a bread knife and through the sides, gently separate the bread from the loaf pan. then turn over the loaf pan and gently tap it till the bread comes out. when it does, you'll see lots of steam. nice! then cool on a wire rack like above.

ha! guess you have no excuse not to bake bread now.  :)

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