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Homemade Bread Loaf

Hey there, fellow foodies! If you’re like me, a native Pinoy who’s grown up munching on the best breads the Philippines has to offer, then you know how much a good loaf can transform a meal. I found myself craving the simplicity and comfort of homemade bread to go with my pasta lunch, and voila! This second loaf was baked, consumed, and absolutely loved. I’m beyond excited to share it with you all!

Bread is a staple that dates back to ancient civilizations. Historians believe it was the Egyptians who first discovered the magic of fermentation, giving us the gift of leavened bread. Over time, the simple bread loaf has evolved and diversified, adopting new flavors and textures.

Today, the classic bread loaf has undergone numerous transformations—from sourdough and ciabatta to whole grain versions. Even in Auckland, you’ll find a mix of global and local influences in the bread scene.

Different Versions from Different Places

Whether it’s a French baguette, Italian focaccia, or Filipino pandesal, the concept of a ‘bread loaf’ varies widely across cultures, each adding their own unique twist to this universally beloved food item.

Homemade Bread Loaf Recipe

Preparation Time: 2.5 hrs

Baking Time: 30-45 mins

Number of Servings: 8

Tools and Equipment Needed:

  • Mixing bowl

  • Measuring cups

  • Kneading surface

  • Bread mold

Storage, Packaging and Shelf Life:

  • Room Temperature: 2-3 days

  • Chilled: 1 week

  • Frozen: 3 months

Food Safety Tips:

  • Always check the expiration date of your yeast.

  • Ensure your hands and surfaces are clean before beginning.

Science Behind the Process

The instant yeast in the recipe doesn’t require activation and can be mixed directly with the dry ingredients. It undergoes fermentation, creating CO2, which makes the bread rise. The proteins in the bread flour form gluten, providing structure.

10 Tips for Success:

  1. Mix instant yeast with dry ingredients, no need to activate.

  2. Allow enough proofing time.

  3. Preheat your oven.

  4. Avoid over-kneading.

  5. Use a kitchen scale for accuracy.

  6. Check the bread’s internal temperature.

  7. Let the bread cool before slicing.

  8. Use fresh ingredients.

  9. Follow the exact measurements.

  10. Keep an eye during baking.

10 Common Mistakes and Troubleshooting:

  1. Over-proofing

  2. Under-kneading

  3. Using expired yeast

  4. Inconsistent measurements

  5. Over-baking

  6. Skipping the resting time

  7. Not preheating the oven

  8. Using wrong flour type

  9. Cutting too soon

  10. Over-mixing the dough

10 Common Questions and Answers:

🟣Question: Can I use all-purpose flour?

🟢Answer: Yes, you can use all-purpose flour, but it may result in a slightly less chewy texture than bread flour, which has more protein content.

🟣Question: Why did my bread not rise?

🟢Answer: There could be multiple reasons, such as expired yeast, not enough proofing time, or an environment that is too cold for the yeast to work effectively.

🟣Question: Can I use olive oil instead of butter?

🟢Answer: Yes, olive oil can be used as a substitute, but it will give the bread a different flavor profile. The texture might be a bit softer as well.

🟣Question: What’s the ideal proofing temperature?

The ideal proofing temperature is around 75-80°F (24-27°C). A too-cold or too-hot environment can adversely affect the rise.

🟣Question: Why is my crust too hard?

🟢Answer: A too-hard crust often results from over-baking or setting the oven temperature too high. You can also brush the top with butter immediately after baking to soften the crust.

🟣Question: Can I double the recipe?

🟢Answer: Yes, you can double the recipe. Just make sure to also adjust the size of your baking pan and possibly the baking time.

🟣Question: Can I freeze the dough?

🟢Answer: Yes, you can freeze the dough after its first rise. Thaw it in the fridge overnight before shaping, doing a second rise, and baking.

🟣Question: What’s the ideal internal temperature?

🟢Answer: The bread is done when the internal temperature reaches 190-210°F (88-99°C).

🟣Question: Can I use skim milk?

🟢Answer: Yes, skim milk can be used, but it may result in a less rich flavor and softer crust.

🟣Question: How long should I knead the dough?

🟢Answer: Kneading time varies, but generally, aim for 8-10 minutes for a smooth and elastic dough. With instant yeast, you don’t have to knead as long as you would with active dry yeast.

Ingredient Functionality:

  • Bread Flour: Provides structure

  • Sugar: Adds sweetness

  • Salt: Enhances flavor

  • Milk and Water: Moisture

  • Butter: Adds richness

  • Yeast: Leavening agent

Ingredient Substitutions:

  • Bread flour → All-purpose flour

  • White Sugar → Brown sugar

  • Fresh Milk → Evaporated milk

  • Butter → Shortening

Suggested Serving or Variations:

Enjoy with tomato-based pasta or garlic-butter shrimp for a fulfilling meal.

Nutrition per serving

  • Calories: 340

  • Carbohydrate: 50g

  • Protein: 9g

Homemade Bread Loaf Ingredients

  • Bread flour: 500g (4 cups)

  • White Sugar: 80g (1/3 cup)

  • Fine Salt: 16g (1 tbsp)

  • Fresh Milk: 150g (2/3 cup)

  • Water: 200g (3/4 cup)

  • Butter: 25g (2 tbsp)

  • Instant yeast: 10g (1 packet)

Homemade Bread Loaf Step-by-Step Procedure:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.

  2. Add milk and water.

  3. Mix well and add butter.

  4. Knead until smooth.

  5. Rest for 5 minutes.

  6. Place in a mold.

  7. Proof for 1.5 to 2 hours.

  8. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

  9. Bake for 30-45 minutes.

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