Skip to main content

The Tale of the Midnight Baker

The morning after the my failed bread making session, I marched to the supermarket and dumped in a bottle of instant yeast. My Hubby gave me the "you-gonna-bake-again?" look. Yup and this time round I am happy to say that I've managed to churn out something decent.

After putting my princess down for the night, it was already 11.15pm. I went through my recipe again to make sure that I understand everything in it. Then I saw the active dry yeast in the ingredient list, but I only have instant yeast. Thank goodness there was internet, I did a quick check on the difference. And then I was on my way.

At 1.50am, this was how the bread looked for the first proof.

At 2.52am, this was how the bread looked after being shaped and proofed for the second time.

I tuck the bread to bake in the oven at 3am and then woke up to take it out at 3.50am and went back to bed. Guess who came out to check the bread on the table in the morning?

At 6.50am, my princess woke up and went to the table and said: "Wow! Smells nice." Please excuse my uneven shaping, it was 2am in the morning!

Here's a close up.

This is the closest I have ever got to a soft bread. I am not really happy with the crust as I find it too thick and tough for my taste. I love the soft interior and the rich flavour of it, but I am sure that there is something more to be done in the taste department.

This bread has a very sticky dough and I was really glad that I have read Dough and watched Mr. Richard Bertinet skillfully handling a similar dough. I had to really resist the urge to reach for the flour. So I was thumped the dough as best as I could. After a good 25 mins, my aching arms protested. I reached for the flour, and to my surprise, I only used a small amount to end the sticky affair. Trust the professionals.

Milk Bread (adapted from Joy of Cooking '97 ed.)

6gm instant yeast

3tbsp warm 40degC water

1 cup of warm 40degC whole milk

5 tbsp (71gm) melted butter, cooled

3 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 large egg, beaten

Combine all the above in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. Gradually, all in 3.5 - 4 cups bread flour. The dough should be soft but not sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl. Turn it out onto the floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Round it into a ball and leave it in a lightly floured bowl for the first proofing. About 1 to 1.5hrs or until double in size.

Deflate the dough and divide it into 2. Roll each dough into a tight ball and place it in a lightly oiled loaf tin. Let the dough proof for another 1 to 1.5hrs or until double in size.

Bake in preheated oven of 190degC for 40mins.


  1. What an amazing loaf of bread! The loaf looks great and what dedication! At 2:00 am I am dreaming of what I may bake the next day but definitely not in the next 10 minutes!!! :) Right now I am on a cookie kick, call it the holiday fever but it's pretty bad, so I am behind on bread baking but after seeing your beautifully risen dough you got me thinking again!

    Nice bread!


  2. Hi Rene,

    Thanks for dropping by my blog.

    Good job on the bread your've done!

    I'm a midnight baker too. Sometime, I'll even beat my eggs in the storeroom so I wont wake up the rest in the house.

    Once I was tapping on my cake batter to get rid of air bubbles before i send it into the oven, my hubby came out of the bedroom thinking I was going after a cockcroach :)

  3. Hi!! you could check out the milk loaf post in my blog on how to make the crust thin & crispy... =)

  4. Lewis, thanks for your encouragement in the previous post.

    Ning's mummy, welcome to my blog. I cook and bake during the night quite often. (^.^)

    Karen, thanks for the tip and having me on your blogroll!

  5. Hi,

    Happen to visit your blog. There are many nice bakes. :)Wow, I like this bread of yours. Thanks for sharing the info on the types of yeast. It certainly helps! :)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Post-meditated Pumpkin and Mushroom Soup

I cannot help but notice that recently the trendy words that seem to flood the wellness media always carry words like “self-care”, “meditation”, “gratitude”, and even “mindfulness” has been thrown in for good measure. Yes, all these single-word suggestions sound good. We all need to know how to take our stress level down a few notches at a time when we need to keep our face masks up.  So when I read the news about a nail being found in the pumpkin mushroom soup of an unidentified Asian passenger on board our national carrier bound for Auckland, imagine my dilemma. Should I feel grateful that my previous soups on board were served without any nails? Or should I feel grateful that I could not afford to fly our national carrier often enough to be served soups which might actually have carried nails or other specials in them? As you can see, I am pretty new to this wellness speak and hence very confused about this “gratitude” aspect of the trend.     Like any dutiful social m

Rosemary Cuttings

I think I am really bored with life. So bored that I am trying my hands are transplanting my rosemary plant! This is just after I killed by some mint off-shoots recently by transplanting them. I have black fingers, I think. Not that I need another rosemary plant. I am just plain curious why some people here are able to root a cutting from a Cold Storage pack . It sounds so easy that it is absurdly unfair. Maybe it is just my lack of technique and common sense when it comes to plants. Here's a link that I found helpful about transplanting rosemary . Seems that the chances of success for my transplanted rosemary doesn't look high. I didn't dip it in rooting powder (!!??), I transplanted it in medium sized container, and the soil is of highly questionable source (don't ask). Well, if the little fellow didn't make it, you will hear of it here soon.

Main Course Salads: Salade Nicoise

My motivation for looking into main course salad was born out of sheer laziness. I was looking for a one-dish meal (less plates) that requires minimal cooking (less pots/pans) and packs lots of veggies as well as being filling. No skimpy wimpy diet salads for this gal. So if I have to put this into a checklist of evaluating a salad, it would probably look like this. Salade Nicoise has all the ticks in the check-boxes. Everything in this salad can be made ahead of time. Right down to the proteins of eggs and fish (either canned tuna or leftover grilled salmon). Now, isn't this dish time friendly? The dressing for Salade Nicoise is just a simple olive oil and acid mix (ratio is 1 : 1.5)with shallots and herbs thrown in together with Dijon mustard. The recipe for the vinaigrette I used came from The New Best Recipe which you will be able to find it on Simply Recipe . I haven't had many main course salads in restaurants, but from the very few that I had eaten, the dre