Imagine this 'warm, freshly baked Sugar bread, smeared with butter or Avocado and squeezed into a firm ball', wait...take a deep breath 'bite into it , chew , enjoy the different textures and flavours, sip a glass of chilled Coca Cola and repeat the process '....Is it finished yet? A great afternoon snack from my childhood, when one was too hungry to wait for lunch.
Try this then, 'fry some egg with Tomatoes, diced chilli and Onions; instead of using a bread knife , tear a big portion of the freshly baked Sugar bread, pull it apart, place the omelette in the middle (to make a sandwich), take a deep breath again, pray this time (long prayers at your own peril if you have hungry eyes lurking about) bite into it and sip on a cup of hot Cocoa, Milo or 'Tea'. This scenario here was my morning.
Ghana has varieties of bread from Brown bread, Butter bread, Tea bread, Sugar bread , flat breads and more recently multi seeded bread amongst other specialty breads.
Tea bread has a delicate savoury taste and it best suits big flavoured fillings, whilst butter bread has the same consistency of Sugar bread but without the Sugar.
Anyway, in paying homage to the ultimate Ghanaian breakfast of 'Chibom (Omelette), Milo & Sugar bread',
here is my Sugar bread recipe.
I've tried making Sugar bread countless of times and the difficulty lies in the texture and how quickly it browns (due to the sugar content).
You can use caster sugar , however I prefer icing sugar for a smoother dough.
I've simplified and quickened the process by mixing everything together, which works perfectly.
Traditionally, melted butter is used for this recipe, however I prefer to use Olive oil as it gives the bread a depth of flavour.
This is a tried and tested recipe and guarantees you a perfect, fluffy, well risen, soft and pliable bread.
I'm sure you'll be inspired to make your own breads after trying this recipe.
Gain a great sense of achievement with the added benefits of the aroma of fresh baking bread filling your home and a loaf, free from all additives.
410g of Strong White flour
110g of icing Sugar
Half a teaspoon of ground Mace or Nutmeg
20g of dry active yeast
40ml of Olive oil or melted butter
200ml of lukewarm water
A pinch of Salt
20g of flour for dusting
A tablespoonful of Olive oil or melted butter for greasing the baking tin.
In a mixing bowl add the salt, Sugar, Nutmeg or Mace, flour and yeast. (all in the order described)
(Salt prevents the yeast to rise, hence it should be at the bottom of the bowl).
Using a Mixer
Attach the hook and mixing bowl to your mixer and turn the mixer on to a low setting.
Add the melted butter or Olive oil gradually and proceed with adding the lukewarm water slowly.
Once combined increase the mixer setting to a medium speed.
At this stage pre heat your oven to 80*c (my way of making the bread rise quickly).
Let the bread mix for 10-15 minutes or until it has a glossy shine, soft and silky texture.
Once you've mixed all the ingredients together to form the bread dough, transfer it to a clean floured surface.
Using the palm of your hand (your core activated) with a bit of pressure, roll the dough away and towards you till you achieve the perfect silky smooth texture. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
Once you've achieved the required texture, turn the oven off and keep it shut.
The mixture will look sticky to begin with, however the constant kneading will activate the gluten further till you've formed a nice soft and pliable texture.
Leave the bread dough in the mixing bowl and cover with a cling film.
Switch the oven off and leave it to cool off for about 3 minutes. Place the bread dough in the oven and keep it shut for 30-45 minutes.
Due to the high sugar content , you need to place the dough in a warm place for it to rise.
If you're lucky enough to be in Ghana (where's hot) , leave it covered outside in the Sun (lucky you). The bread should double up in size within 45 minutes.
The process of warming the oven up is to emulate the heat of a hot country (which gives the bread dough a chance to rise perfectly).
Grease your preferred baking tin with either Olive oil or melted butter and set aside.
Once the bread dough has doubled up in size, transfer the bread dough to a clean floured surface, (careful not to knock all the air out of the dough) and divide into 6 equal ball portions.
If you prefer a whole loaf, roll the dough into an oblong shape and place it in your greased baking tin.
Place each bread dough ball into your greased tin and cover again with the cling film for the second and final rise (proofing).
Place the bread dough back in the warm oven for 30 - 45 minutes (the bread dough will double up in size).
Take the bread dough out of the oven and set aside. Switch the oven on, heat it up to 170*c and place a deep baking tray with 400ml of water in the bottom part of the oven.
Place the bread in the middle part of the oven and shut the door quickly to trap in the heat and steam.
The steam will cook the bread and help give the bread a lovely crust.
Bake the bread for 20-25 minutes. Tap the bread for a hollow sound, which indicates it's perfectly cooked.
Serve with an Omelette, Coconut Sambal, Avocado, butter or Jam.
The bread will keep for 5 days in an airtight container.
The recipes and pictures are by the owner of this blog.
Chef Fafa on ITV, This Morning.