Stove-Top Bread

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Stove-Top BreadMay 20, 2010

Stove-Top Bread

Traditionally, bread is always baked. But that in itself presents a few problems here in the Philippines. First, you have to have an oven - not everyone has an oven, and ovens are quite expensive. Even if you do, you spend so much in power that it's a lot cheaper buying a store bread.

Here's a recipe that uses what nearly everyone has - a wok, frying pan or casserole (with lid). Also, because it's a stove-top method at super low heat, you save on fuel and cost. Use a non-stick pan that's big enough to hold the dough when its has expanded.

Ingredients: (one big loaf)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps oil
Preparation
  • on the same pot you'll be using to cook the bread, warm the cup of water (not hot! you'll kill the yeast)
  • add 1 cup sifted flour, yeast and sugar
  • mix until well blended, ideally using a whisk
  • put cover on, leave at room temperature and wait 1 hour until you see the mixture increase in size. This is the first rising. It should be foaming - that's the sponge
  • add the remaining 2 cups of flour, 1 tbsp oil and salt
  • knead the mixture into a dough. How to knead? Refer to this YouTube video
  • you can stop kneading when the dough returns to its shape when you press on it
  • put cover on, leave at room temperature and wait 1 hour until you see the mixture double in size. This is the 2nd rising
  • press on the dough to squeeze out the air and roll it applying pressure to further rid of the air
  • leave the dough inside the wok and pour the remaining 1 tbsp of oil on top of the dough
  • put cover on, leave at room temperature and wait 1 hour until you see the mixture double in size. This is the 3rd and last rising
  • put the pan on the stove on high heat for 1 minute, then on extra-low for 30 minutes with the cover on
  • flip the dough, return the cover and continue cooking for another 20 minutes
  • remove the cover and continue cooking for 10 more minutes
  • yRemove the bread immediately from the pan and let it cool for 10 minutes on top of a strainer
  • enjoy the bread while it's warm!

Verdict
Making bread is NOT as difficult as most people think. Once you start making your own bread, it would be difficult to appreciate store-bought bread. With practice, you can start experimenting like adding whole grains, nuts, raisins, or aromatic herbs.

--- TheLoneRider

    Tips:
  • for dough consistency, the trick is to make it as soft as possible without being sticky. Add water or flour accordingly.
  • you can use beer instead of water
  • you can use a ratio of 1 cup whole wheat flour and 2 cups regular flour
  • you can use honey or muscovado sugar instead of regular sugar
  • if you're using a wide pan, like a wide deep wok, you can do the kneading inside the wok
  • putting the bread on a strainer promotes circulation of air below, so the bread doesn't get soggy
  • this type of bread (no eggs, no milk) is like foccacia
Comments? Email webmaster@thelonerider.com

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