I guess I still know how to bake bread? Suddenly the boys remembered their Mom used to bake bread regularly.. They smelled them, found them, ate them and asked for more. As if a memory of how bread can taste/smell came to the surface all at once.
I really try to use my combi-steamer more, or rather incorporate the use in everyday cooking. Or, in this case baking. This is a rather simple bread dough in itself but using a muffin tin and the steam setting on my oven produced a wonderful result.
The crust was deliciously crisp and the interior still moist with that nutty whole wheat flavour and a tiny hint of sweet by using a little honey.
For the dough:
300 gr. whole wheat
200 gr. bread flour
1.1/2 tsp instant yeast
1.1/4 tsp regular table salt
1 heaped Tbs honey
325 gr milk
3 Tbs oil/butter
Bread maker: Combine all ingredients in a bread maker and choose the dough setting.
Stand mixer: Combine both flours, yeast, salt, oil and stir with a spoon, start the mixer on medium speed using the dough hook and add the milk, pouring slowly. Knead in slow to medium speed until the dough is coming together and clears the bowl.
Continue mixing in medium speed until the gluten is well developed. Window paning will not work as well with this whole wheat dough as it will with all white flour. The dough will curl around the hook and does not stick to the sides of the bowl. (Some will still pool on the bottom of the bowl.)
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and leave to ferment for about 45-60 minutes. I’d like to pull the dough up and over itself halfway, just to give it a little more oomph.
Shape: Tip dough out of the bowl onto your lightly oiled work surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll into a ball using a cupped hand and exerting a little pressure on your dough ball –pushing it against the work surface- while making circular motions. Doing this will create tension and leave you with a nice tight surface –and a little belly button showing on the underside of your roll- :-D
When you are going to use a muffin tin to bake in, grease it well! Make sure you also grease the circumference on the top. These are going to grow and puff and you will want them to slide out, not hack them out! They will hold up equally well if you’re baking them stand alone btw.
Place your balls of dough in the muffin tin, cover and leave to rise 45 minutes.
I used the rise setting on my steamer oven and didn’t need to cover because of the steam. Do you think they are ready to bake?
Bake in preheated oven (200C) for 15-20-25 minutes. Yes I know, strange times but it all depends on how large your muffin tin is and how hot your oven runs. Just keep an eye on them and look for a really nice honey golden color.
For me it was easy, my oven has a “bake buns program” which uses steam and fan in the first 10 minutes and then adjusts the heat to bake the buns off. Really scary to leave it all to the machine and at the same time strangely relaxing to just push a button and walk away. I have to admit that I stayed and watched the first time I used that setting, didn’t trust it for one bit. It does feel a bit like cheating actually.
When baked leave them to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, maybe a tad longer. They will work up some sweat (haha no, but they will steam up a little and make release a bit easier on you). Don’t keep them too long in the tins though!
Pry them out and leave to cool on a rack. Mine was in use so I put them on a wooden board on their sides. They look like giant toadstools no?
Steam the easy way: Put an old shallow tin on the lowest rack in your oven as it heats up and at the same time you slide your bread in toss a handfull of ice cubes in the tin.Or, but please be careful! Same tin, preheated together with the oven, but in this case pour about 1 cup of hot water in the tin. Close the door, let bake and after 10 minutes into baking time, open the oven door hereby venting the steam and remove the steam pan. Let the buns bake according to the directions.