My husband suggested that I make bread at home to strengthen our proactive measures of the COVID-19 quarantine. We want to stay indoors as much as possible, we want to play our part. Bread making became a bonding session with my daughter, she was so excited. It is easy to make, the only time consuming factor, is waiting for the dough to rise. The ingredients are so simple and so affordable, moreover, I think most families in quarantine should have them in stock.
3 Cups Cake Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
3 Teaspoon Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 ½ Cup Lukewarm Water
2 ¼ teaspoon Instant Yeast
Step 1: First pour the instant yeast inside the bowl and then add the water. Stir until the lumps disappear, you can use a whisk here to make the process quicker. Add the sugar, salt, oil and stir to combine them together.
Step 2: Add 1 cup of the flour, use a wooden spoon to mix. The mixture with the first cup of flour will be very liquid. Then add the second cup of flour and continue to mix. The dough should be forming well now, it will become heavier to handle with more flour. You will be exercising your biceps here. Who knew that bread can do that?! The third cup of flour will make the mixture more form and the dough should be ready to be kneaded.
Step 3: Now, on a clean (and super disinfected surface, we are dealing with the Corona virus here!), you must sprinkle a generous amount of flour, where you will knead your dough. I use half a cup for the kneading, I add bit by bit as I go along. Aim for 10 minute of physical labour if you are kneading by using your hands.
You knead by stretching and pulling the dough, I have examples below. My daughter loves this step. She has also demonstrated to me her strength and prowess. This kneading business is labour intensive!!!:-)
Step 4: After kneading for 10 minutes, your dough is now ready to rise. On a clean bowl (I washed mine), oil it so that the dough does not stick on it. Place the dough inside and cover with the sling wrap. Make sure to oil the sling wrap as well, again to ensure that the dough does not stick on it when it has risen. You now must place you protected dough in a very warm environment, i have used the oven and outside where it is sunny. I prefer to place mine in outside. Let it sit for 1 hour and it should rise like below.
Step 5: You can now retrieve your dough from inside an oven or outside. Another favourite of my daughter is to punch the risen dough, it is fun for even an adult to see the dough deflate. And then we begin kneading again, this time for 8 minutes. This second process is not so messy yet it is still strenuous. Once complete, place it inside the bowl, cover it and take it outside again to rise for another hour.
Step 6: 5 minutes before your hour is up, please pre-heat the oven at 180 ⁰C. Once the dough has risen, yet again, you can now oil your baking pan and place the dough inside. By now, you must be salivating for your awesome bread creation. Place the dough in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
After the 45 minutes is complete, test the bread by listening to a hollow sound when you smack the bread with a wooden spoon. When you hear the hollow sound and it is golden brown, your bread is ready to cool down before you slice it and savour your truly hard labour;)