Ghana Sugar Bread

I remember my days as a little girl running the morning errand of finding the freshest and loveliest bread for the family breakfast. Days that I run a bit late, I wouldn’t find any fresh bread as all would have been sold out. Ghanaians! we love our fresh bread, they go like hot cakes! I would move from one local bakery to another with the hope of getting my hands on one. Some of the bakers were so nice, they would save a loaf or two for me, some would even go out of their way to bake me a little bread man. It was always something I looked forward to. Guess what? The little bread man, always and almost never ever made it home with me. It was yummy in my tummy, on the journey back home!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 650g Strong Bread Flour
  • 150g Sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C powder)
  • 50g Butter melted
  • 1 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 30g Dry Active Yeast
  • 2 Tsp sugar
  • 50 ml Luke Warm water
  • 300ml Tap Water
  • Extra Flour for Kneading

METHOD:

  1. Put the yeast and 2 tsp of sugar in a bowl, add 50ml luke warm water and whisk. Set it aside to froth. This may take up to 15 minutes.
  2. Place the flour, salt, sugar, ascorbic acid, nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Use the paddle hook if using a mixer.
  3. Add the melted butter and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Now add the frothed yeast mixture to the flour mixture and mix until well incorporated.
  5. Add the 300ml of water, a bit at a time, and mix into a dough.
  6. Knead the dough until it is very elastic. Now this is a sticky dough, so I find the dough doesn’t hold up properly. When this happens, transfer onto a lightly floured surface and knead with the heel of your palms.
  7. Once stretchy /elastic, it’s ready to ferment. To test the elasticity, either use a sharp knife to cut through the dough, the slit should look smooth with air pockets. Alternatively stretch the dough like a cloth, it should be able to stretch like an elastic sheet without breaking.
  8. Grease a glass bowl with butter.
  9. Roll the dough into a ball and place in the greased bowl. Rub the dough with the butter and turn the dough up, so the buttered face is up.
  10. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in a warm place for the dough to rise. You can create a warm environment by warming up the oven to 100oC. When the set temperature is reached, switch it off and leave the oven light on.
  11. Once the dough has doubled in size, re-knead, knocking some of the air out but not all.
  12. Grease 2 loaf tins with butter.
  13. Divide the dough into two equal parts and shape for the loaf tin. Shape the dough creating a seam at the bottom and smoothing the opposite face. Place the shaped dough in the loaf tin, making sure the seam is at the bottom.
  14. Cover with a warm damp cloth and place in a warm place for the second proofing. This takes about an hour. Once the dough has doubled in size it’s time to bake.
  15. Heat up the oven to 180oC.
  16. Bake the dough for 30 minutes or until it starts to brown and then place a bowl of cold water on the bottom shelf. This will create steam in the oven to help create a lovely crust on the bread.
  17. Turn up the heat to 200oC and bake till the bread is light brown. This may take another 20 minutes.
  18. Once the light brown colour has been achieved, knock the bread to check if it is hollow. If it is, take it out of the oven, cover the bread with a cloth for about 5minutes. Remove the cloth and let it continue to cool down. If you want a hard crust don’t cover with a cloth. Just allow it to completely cool down before serving.
  19. Once cooled serve with your favourite beverage.

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