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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
  • 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!

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

  • 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

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