The mercury has been bumping into the dreaded 400C mark for over a week now. The very sight of jackets hanging in a wardrobe makes one want to dive into a tall glass of iced water and not emerge for at least 6 months. Fans and air conditioners have become our best friends, and the very thought of stepping out is exhausting.
The saddest thing about this heat wave is that my sourdough starter has been pushed to the back of the refrigerator, where, hopefully it will stay alive, if not very active.
The only bright spot in this is that commercial yeast is still around, and one can find comfort in homemade bread!
These two plump loaves are made with 500 g of 100% wholewheat flour, 4 g of yeast, 10 g of salt, 30 g of dark organic jaggery, 20 g of unsalted homemade butter and 400 g of water (80%).
There was a long, 45 minute autolyse pause after mixing all the ingredients, some hectic kneading, a 2 hour first fermentation phase, a 30 m second fermentation phase after shaping, and 25 minutes in the oven at 2000C.
The jaggery didn't add any sweetness, but it did add a lovely caramel hue to the crumb. The butter lent the bread an almost cakey texture - soft when eaten on its own, and crisp, yet not chewy when toasted.