Over the years of sharing this recipe, I have realized that not everybody gets their 100% atta (whole wheat) bread right the first time — I was just plain lucky. If it does not work for you the first time don’t get disheartened, review some of the pointers at the bottom of this post.
What makes this delicious bread healthy:
It is 100% atta (whole wheat). Most breads use ‘maida’ — highly processed wheat.
It uses Olive Oil.
You can throw in wheat bran, crushed flax seeds (excellent source of dietary fiber, micro-nutrients and omega-3) and more…
For yeast mixture:
Water (Luke warm): 750 ml
Dry Yeast: 2 Tsp
Sugar: 2 Tsp
Atta (Whole Wheat Flour): 900 gms
Salt: 2.5 Tsp
Optional: (experiment as you become familiar with the basic recipe)
Bran: 2 TBS
Flax seeds (crushed): 2 Tbs
Sunflower seeds: 2 Tbs
Pumpkin seeds: 2 Tbs
Oats : 2 Tbs
Honey: 2.5 Tbs
Olive Oil: 4 Tbs
Method of Preparation
Method for Yeast Mixture:
- Dissolve sugar in water.
- Dissolve yeast in water.
- Let sit for 45 minutes. Or longer. Depends on the yeast. The solution should roughly doubled in size.
Method for the Bread:
- Mix all the dry ingredients
- In the flour mixture, make a well in the centre, add oil, honey, then yeast mixture.
- Knead till all the of the mixture comes together into a ball. Don’t over knead. It should be a little wet.
- Put dough in a mixing bowl, cover with a warm wet towel, and leave in a warm place to rise. Keep it there for 1 to 2 hours (depends on the ambient temperature)till the dough doubles in size.
- Knead it for 5 minutes. You will have to add lots of flour while pounding it. Beat it hard. And knead into a smooth dough.
- Shape into two loaves and put in greased bread tins. Leave to rise again for about ½ to 1 hour, covered with a wet towel.
- At this point pre-heat oven to 190° C.
- Bake for 45 to 60 minutes.
- When done, it will be brown, and sound hollow when knocked at the bottom.
Watch out for:
In my experience the two main things that cause majority of the problems are: Yeast and the oven.
- Don’t use the yeast if it is past the ‘use by’ date – read the expiry date on the package carefully. If the package has not stored in air-tight container the yeast might deteriorate very rapidly. If the yeast mixture does not double (approximately) then the bread is unlikely to live up to expectations. Throw it and start over. Perhaps with a new batch of yeast.
- Yeast is a live single-celled creature. Very hot water will kill it. Too cold will not allow it grow.
- Most ovens are not calibrated like scientific equipment. After a couple of times you might figure that you need to set the temperature a little different, or that you need to flip the bread around mid-way, or that you may need to keep the bread in for longer or shorter duration.
- The size of the oven matters. If you have a small oven , make a small loaf. Crowding the oven is unlikely to get you good results.