How on earth can I bake bread without an oven? You may wonder.
When the Covid pandemic hit the world, it was the time most of us turned to doing our own thing in the kitchen. One of my favorite food is Bread. Without my daily bread, I feel as though something is missing.
With the lockdowns it was difficult to get groceries and especially bread as bakeries had closed down. Power cuts were frequent making it almost impossible to bake in an oven.
I turned to making my own bread with ingredients always available in my pantry and in the fridge. Without the oven, I make milk bread in my rice cooker or in a non-stick pan on the stove.
This is what I use to make Soft Milk Bread with a crunchy crust on the top which is optional.
If you are like me and love that crunchiness; especially with a generous dollop of butter, grated cheese a spicy chicken curry (which I love), or home-made pineapple or strawberry jam, it is simply heavenly. I also love dipping the bread in yogurt mixed with olive oil with just a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper, sliced green chillies and red onions mixed with boiled and crumbled tuna!.
The best part is taking pride in baking your own bread that you will never again want to buy bread from your local bakery.
I will let you in on a little secret ingredient that I add for that extra soft spongy milk bread. So read on.
The Dry Ingredients
- 500 gms Flour (You can choose whole-wheat/ all-purpose or bread flour)
- 7 gms Instant yeast
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Sugar
The Liquid Ingredients
- ½ cup Full cream or Low fat milk
- 02 Medium size eggs
- ½ Cup Olive oil
- ½ Cup luke warm water
Related: Homestead Pantry Tour
2 Tablespoons Plain yogurt or Curd
- A teaspoon of butter to brush the Pan or the Rice cooker pan
- A little oil to brush the top of the Milk Bread Dough to give it that lovely golden look
Optional: Egg wash
Into a bowl add the warm water with the yeast and stir until it is completely dissolved.
Next add the salt and sugar. Add the flour, eggs, milk, butter and curd. Mix this with a wooden spoon until the dough does not stick onto the spoon. Sprinkle a little flour on the countertop or board and knead the dough till it is consistent.
Next lightly brush the pan with butter or oil. Form a ball with the dough and leave it for about 10-15 minutes in a warm place covered with either a kitchen towel or cling wrap.
The dough should be soft like molding clay and should not stick onto your fingers. If it does simply sprinkle a little flour and knead.
The dough by now should have doubled in size. If you wish to, let it rest for a further 10 minutes.
Punch the dough and if it bounces back then it means that the dough has risen. With instant yeast anyway the dough rises quickly as it acts real fast. Leave it covered for a further 25 minutes.
Now gently take the ball of dough with a spatula neatening the sides and place it in the Rice Cooker or in a non-stick pan if you are using a stove. Bruch some milk and egg wash on the dough to give it that golden color.
I usually keep the rice cooker on for about 5 minutes and then switch it to “Warm” and leave it overnight. The heat is sufficient to beautifully cook the Milk Bread giving me beautiful fluffy bread for breakfast.
If you are using a stove then remember to have the heat at the lowest possible or the bread could burn. It is best to first put a grill or a pan cover on the stove and then place the non-stick pan on top of it. This way the direct heat will be blocked and an even distribution of heat will help to cook the bread.
You can check it better if you have a glass top cover for the pan so you know when to take it off the stove.
By now, there will be that lovely aroma of home baked Milk bread wafting through the house. Take it off the stove or Rice cooker and place on a rack to cool.
Once the bread has cooled it is now ready to eat. You can either slice it or break it and have it for breakfast or dinner with a nice thick chicken and mushroom soup.
In cool climates you can leave the bread out on a paper towel in a wicker or cane basket, but in extreme heat conditions it is better to store it in the lower part of the fridge.
Since eggs are an ingredient in the Milk Bread, due to extreme heat in some places the bread can develop mold so it’s best to refrigerate in the lowest part of the refrigerator. You can either steam it or heat it and you will have your Milk Bread as fresh as ever.
It is not difficult once you get the hang of it and you will never want store bought bread. This is great for the family to have their own Milk bread made at home without an oven. You can make this even with a wood stove but it should be made in a cast iron pan and on the coals or else it would burn. I’ve almost stopped using my regular stove completely because I have finally learned how to cook without almost anything (including bacon and vegetables – yes, you heard that right) without it, without smoke, no hassle at all. Here’s my method.
Making Milk Bread on a wood fire will be very quick due to the extreme heat.
As an alternative you could put a few coals into a cast iron pan and then put the Milk Bread dough into a smaller pan, cover it and let the Milk Bread rise and bake to perfection.
Overall, you do not need an oven to bake bread and you can easily cook it in 3 different ways that are given in this article. The ingredients are generally always available in a pantry and you do not have a high energy bill since you won’t need an oven to bake this bread.
You can see my grandbaby Blake enjoying his bread 🙂
Happy Soft Milk Breading!
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