I've finally found a bread recipe that works well for me. Or maybe it's the method. Either way, I'm sticking to this recipe/method, as it has turned out so well for me.
See? It even looks like a loaf from the bakery! I am totally convinced that the water roux method works miracles.
|bread dough after proofing, and just before it hits the oven|
WATER ROUX BREAD
20g bread flour
Whisk flour and water till lump-free, then heat it over low heat till it thickens and becomes a paste.
Set aside to cool to room temperature. Or refrigerate overnight for use the next day. Bring to room temperature before use. (Water roux may be chilled for up to 3 days. After that, it will likely turn bad.)
Water roux (from above)
4 tbs milk
5g milk powder
1.5 tbs oil
270g bread flour
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
Combine all ingredients till it forms a dough.
Knead till smooth and elastic, and no longer sticky.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to proof in a warm area for about 40 min till it doubles in size.
Punch down the dough and knead it lightly a few times.
Roll out or flatten the dough, then roll it to form a log.
Tuck in the ends, and place it in the middle of a greased loaf pan.
Proof for another 30 min till it doubles in size and fills the loaf pan.
Before baking, brush with eggwash (for a nice golden tan). I like to just dust some flour over the top for a more rustic look.
Bake at 180*C for 25-30 min till the crust is golden brown.
Remove loaf from pan and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. It pays to be patient at this stage. Slicing the bread while it's still warm will only result in gummy sticky slices of bread. Be patient.