The lockdown period following the outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic saw several people take up hobbies like crafts, gardening and cooking (baking garlic bread). The Internet has provided help to these hobby-seekers by posting several easy do-it-yourself lessons in a variety of segments. Many people have also revived lost interest and trying out some forgotten or little-known recipes.
A major area of interest among several people, who found themselves locked-in with some spare time on their hands, is baking. Cakes and cookies were the first among bakery items to be tried out. Then they moved to recipes like pastry, puffs and croissants. A little-tried out product is bread as this is so readily available (and often several varieties) in the store down the lane. But those who have tried to bake bread have found it to be immensely frustrating at first but very fulfilling eventually.
For Indians, who are used to making rotis every day and, occasionally, leavened bread (in which yeast is added to make the dough rise) such as batura, kulcha and naan, it takes very little effort to move to baking bread. Basically, bread comprises flour, water, a little salt and yeast. It’s the right proportion of the ingredients, amount of kneading and proofing (rising of the dough) that is the trick, which one cracks after a few trials and errors.
We bring to you the recipe for garlic bread, preceded by that of basic bread (for those of you who have reservations about baking bread!). Happy baking!
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Flour: 1 ½ cups (You can use maida. But a mix of maida and wheat atta gives better results.
Use 1 cup maida and ½ cup atta)
Water: ½ cup (approximately)
Salt: ½ tsp
Sugar: ½ tsp
Yeast: ½ tsp (dry active)
Oil: 2 tbsp
1.Activate yeast: In a small bowl, take ¼ cup of lukewarm water. A little milk can also be added. Dissolve sugar. Add yeast and stir till it dissolves. Keep it aside for around 15 minutes or till the mixture becomes frothy.
2.Combine the dry ingredients ~ flour and salt ~ in a big bowl or deep plate (paraath). Add oil and mix well.
3.Make a well in the centre and add the activated yeast mixture. Combine and, adding a little water at a time, make a soft dough.
4.Applying oil to the hands, knead the dough for around 10 minutes, stretching it and folding it on itself. The result should be a smooth ball of dough, which is springy when pressed.
5.Apply oil on the dough and put it back in the bowl or paraath and cover it with either a wet tea-towel, cling wrap, plate or an inverted bowl. Keep it in a warm place till the dough doubles in size.
6.Punch the dough to release the air. Knead a few times. Then, depending on the size of your bread tin, either use the entire dough or divide it into two parts.
7.Roll out into a rough rectangle, either with a rolling pin or by hand. Then grab one end and tightly roll the flattened dough into a rough log shape. Pinch the ends to prevent the roll from unravelling when baked.
8.Place the loaves in a baking tin. If you don’t have a tin, simply place it/them on a baking tray. Cover and keep in a warm place for 1-2 hours, depending on the weather. The loaves must double in size.
9.Bake in pre-heated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for around 30-40 minutes (depending upon your oven). It’s only by trial and error that one will get this combination correct.
Ingredients are the same as for basic bread recipe. In addition, one would need:
Crushed garlic: 2 tbsp
Oregano: 1 tbsp (Can include other herbs too)
Chilli flakes: ½ tsp
Oil: 2 tbsp (Olive oil is best but any vegetable oil will do)
Mix these ingredients and keep ready.
Method is the same as for basic bread till Step 6.
Step 7: When the rectangle is rolled out, spread the garlic and oil mixture on the dough before rolling into logs. Spread some more garlic mixture on the finished bread logs and make cuts (scoring) with a sharp knife or blade before proofing them.
Bake as for basic bread.