With time on our hands, we could pursue things we’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the time for, like baking. During these tumultuous times, many are addressing their stress and anxieties with the therapeutic wonders of cooking and baking.
For first-time home bakers, Maya Kitchen shares some tips to help you ease into your first breadmaking experience.
First, you need to have all the basic ingredients for the dough: water, flour, salt and yeast. It also helps to have all essential baking equipment like a mixing bowl, wooden spoon, scrapers (metal and plastic), stand mixers, a loaf pan or a baking sheet.
Once you have that, it’s just a matter of following a recipe as precisely as you can since baking is an exact science. It requires accurate measurements, baking time and temperature, as well as technique, specifically kneading, which helps make bread chewy by producing gluten in the dough.
But perhaps the most important part of trying out a new hobby is patience. With baking, allowing your dough to rest is essential as it ferments to develop a distinct taste and texture.
If you think you got all those in order, here’s an easy recipe you might want to try: the all-time Filipino favorite, pandesal.
2 tsp yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp shortening
4 1/2 – 5 cups sifted all-purpose flour
breadcrumbs, as needed
- Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of water. Then, in a bowl, combine the remaining water, sugar, salt and shortening.
- Add four cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Mix well then transfer to a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Use the remaining flour for dusting the table and your hands if the dough gets sticky.
- Place dough on a greased bowl, cover and let it rise until double in bulk.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C.
- Place risen dough on a floured surface. Flatten with your hands to form a rectangle about 16 x 3 inches. Starting at one end, roll up the dough with the right hand while sealing with the left hand to form a cylindrical strip of dough. Roll in bread crumbs. Let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Cut dough into about 1 1/2-inch thick pieces. Place in baking sheet cut side up. Let the dough pieces rise until light, for approximately an hour.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
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RECIPE AND PHOTOGRAPHY MAYA KITCHEN