White Sandwich Bread / Shokupan
White bread is something that we all eat on a daily basis, for me like any other Indian, soft white bread is what feels like home rather than hard crusty bread. Although considered commercial by a lot of boulangers, good homemade white bread never hurt anyone and let's face it, when it comes to comfort, white bread stands on top of everything else.
I mean the first thing that my husband made for me when I fell sick for the very first time was bread-butter and I wouldn't have it any other way.
So I have tried many white bread recipes and this one stays on top of my list. I absolutely swear by this recipe and I make it every week now. I also dry the slices in the oven to make rusk, because, during the lockdown, rusk wasn't available in the first month very easily, so I resorted to making my own rusk at home. This recipe is originally from Japan, like us Indians, they are also fans of soft white bread and I must say that they have perfected the recipe.
Let's have a look at the ingredients:
for 1 loaf (Bread Pan No. 3) / 12 Pav / 10 Burger Buns / 24 Mini Pav
2 Cups + 2 Tbsp Flour (Maida)
3 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Instant Dry Yeast (or 2 tsp Active Dry Yeast or 3tsp Fresh Yeast)
1 Cup + 2 Tbsp Water / Milk
1 Tbsp Salted Butter
Scale all your ingredients and place them in a bowl. Make sure yeast and salt are not touching each other. You can measure the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in one bowl
Add Water and make a shaggy dough while just using your fingertips. The dough is going to be sticky.
Once manageable, turn the contents of the bowl out on to a counter and start kneading till you get a soft and supple dough.
At first, it will stick everywhere, but eventually, it will come together.
Flatten the dough and fold the portion that is away from you, towards you. Turn the dough by 90 degrees and repeat.
Knead for at least 8-10 mins till the skin of the dough is really smooth.
Then add softened butter and knead for 3-4 minutes till the butter is properly incorporated.
form the dough into a supple ball and place in a clean bowl with a little bit of oil all around the dough.
Cover it with a dry cloth and let it rise for 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
Punch it down once and form it into a ball again and rest for 1 more hour.
Shape the dough into a loaf or buns as per your wish and let it rise once again till it doubles in size.
This time the dough will rise faster - in 30 mins.
Score the dough with a very sharp knife and bake at 200 degrees for 20 mins.
If you are making burger buns, bake them at 200 degrees for 12-15 mins.
To check whether the buns are ready, knock them on the crust, they should sound hollow. If they don't bake them for few more minutes.
As soon as the loaf comes out of the oven, brush it with butter and transfer it to a wire rack, this way the bottom of the loaf will not go soggy.
Cover it with a dry cloth and let it cool completely, the crust will soften during this time.
Slice it using a serrated knife for a perfect slice.
The Bread stays fresh for 3 days easily if cooled completely and stored in an air-tight box.