Finally, I made the soft homemade bread that my family loves. I would have made it a thousand times now. The first time was a disaster. The bread was hard enough that I had turned it into biscuits. All the time, something will happen with my bread. Sometimes the yeast will be more and the bread will become sour, sometimes my sweet bread will lack salt. Every time I made something in the shape and size of bread, we had some hard times to finish it off.
But I never gave up on bread making because of the curiosity on how they make those soft breads. I continued my bread making mission and as time passed, the bread showed signs that I am improving. I wanted the texture of homemade bread to be exactly like that in the supermarket shelf. But that will never happen and now I know it. I also know that I can make a tastier and healthier bread than the store breads. Here is the reason why my breads will never be like the store breads but better and healthier.
My homemade bread doesn’t contain Enriched flour, high fructose corn syrup, added gluten, soybean oil, enzymes, calcium sulfate, dough conditioners, soy lecithin, calcium propionate (to retain freshness) etc, etc….. I use simple ingredients that I usually buy from the grocery store to make my own soft bread at home. And they taste delicious and better than the industrially made ones.
Recently I read a news that a study conducted by CSE (Center for Science and Environment, a Delhi based organisation) says, 84% of bread and bakery samples they collected from The city of New Delhi contain potassium bromate, potassium iodate or both and can possibly cause cancer. You can see the news and study here. When you can make bread easily at home, why should we buy these serious diseases ?
Does anyone know how the breads in the supermarket get it’s texture? Here is the reason – they use fairly high amount of yeast. These yeast will build lots of air bubbles in the dough which gives the bread a light and fluffy texture. The dough conditioners make it more soft.
The bread recipe I share today will never make a light-textured bread which we get in the supermarkets. But I can assure you they are good and delicious. I promise you they do not have any preservatives, conditioners, enzymes and lots of hidden chemicals.
Before jumping to the recipe,there are some important points to know in the process of bread making.
- Always use fresh ingredients for a better result.
- The more you knead, softer your bread will be.
- Over proofing make the bread fall down while baking.
- Lack of moisture makes the bread dry and dense.
- The oven temperature may vary. So keep an eye on your bread while baking. If the top turns brown immediately, cover the pan loosely with aluminium foil and continue baking.
- Do not depend on the time given in the recipe, instead use it as a reference. They may vary depending on the type of flour and yeast used, the climate, your oven temperature, room temperature, humidity etc. Example: You don’t have to wait wait for 2 hours, if the dough has already doubled in size by 1 hour.
Soft Homemade Bread
- 1.5 tsp Yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm Milk
- 3 tbsp Sugar
- 4 tbsp Butter at room temperature
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour unbleached (430 gram)
- ¾ to 1 tsp Salt
In a large bowl, combine yeast, 1 tsp sugar and lukewarm milk.
Let it sit undisturbed for 10-15 minutes. If you see bubbles foaming in the bowl, your yeast is perfect to work with.
Add remaining sugar, butter, flour and salt into the yeast mixture.
Mix well with a spoon until well combined. This may take some 5 minutes.
Then start kneading with your hands until the dough is soft and smooth. You have to knead for about 15 minutes.
When the dough is smooth and soft, cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or a cloth. Let it sit undisturbed in a warm place for 2 hours or until the dough is doubled in size.
After the dough had risen, punch it down. Transfer the dough to a floured surface.
Divide the dough into two equal halves. Shape them into a log shape. For this, using both hands gently press the dough, pulling the sides to the bottom and tucking the ends underneath.
Keep doing this until the top surface of the dough comes together as a smooth round with no lines or visible joints.
Dust the bread pan with a little flour. Place the shaped dough in the pan.
Cover and Keep it undisturbed in a warm place. Let it rise and double in size for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degree F. Place the pan in the middle rack.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on the top. Also check for a hollow sound when tapped on top of the bread.
Remove the pan from the oven.
Let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
Then transfer the bread to a wire rack and let it cool down completely.
Once cooled you can slice the bread.
Your homemade soft bread is ready. This will stay fresh for up to 3 days outside the refrigerator.
The time for the flour to rise depends on the quality and quantity of yeast used.
Make sure the the loaf after doubled in size is not disturbed. Any shake or touch may sometimes cause the risen-dough to fall down. Over Proofing is another reason for the bread to fall down while baking.
Once cooled, keep the bread in an air-tight container to keep it soft. If you keep the bread outside, moisture will be lost and will start to dry out.
We are not using any preservatives in the recipe. So make sure it is not damaged before using.
The shaped loaf must not take the exact length of the pan as it should have enough space to increase in size
You can have as many slices of fresh, warm homemade bread you wish without getting nervous about the chemicals and preservatives. After all, you know what all ingredients makes up this sweet bread.