"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Herbert's Traditional Overnight Bread Loaf #BreadBakers

I am still very much a novice where it comes to baking breads. Mum was always good at baking and she never failed where it came to rising dough of any sort.

This month's theme at our #BreadBakers family is hosted by the lovely Holly Baker of A Baker's House. I love the way you have Baker built into your name Holly! Thank you hosting the 'Overnight  Breakfast Bread' theme. I just loved working with this theme as it gave me some experimentation to work with and I have always mentioned in my blog that I work best with experimentation. My best creations have come from some of the wildest experiments I conducted at various Kitchenettes.

This time I decided to work with an experienced baker's tips. Thomas Herbert baked at a time when yeast used to be pretty expensive (can you believe that?). So during those time of economic necessity, people had to come up with innovative ways to make their bread rise. Herbert used 1/10th of the quantity of yeast that was used in a modern day commercial institution. And hence the concept of overnight bread rose. Overnight breads makes for a mean toast which my little one and I had with melted cheese. The lush flavour comes from the long, slow, overnight fermenting process. The best part of the overnight bread is because only a tiny bit of yeast is used in the process, it actually last a longer time than most bread loaves and it is easy to digest by almost all people owing to the tiny amount of yeast. So yes it should also be called a 'Win-Win Bread Loaf'.

I admit that I had to try this bread a couple of times before it turned out right. I had to borrow a bread loaf pan from my neighbour Joshia for the second try. Yes I have lovely neighbours now and they are very good bakers as well. Ah my luck! :) So now I have the option of having them taste my creations and get candid and clear feedback as to how to improve on my next batch.

During the Christmas and New Year months, you may want to couple your roasts with a loaf of this traditional bread loaf. 

What you need:

  • 560 gms white flour (maida)
  • 10 gms salt
  • 10 gms sugar
  • 2 gms dried yeast
  • 4 gms butter
  • 100 ml full cream/full fat milk
  • 200 ml cold water

The Bake:
Preparation time: 15 minutes | Rising time: 2 hours + 8 hours + 1-3 hours | Bake Time: 55 minutes

1.  In a wide, large bowl, mix all the ingredients together for 15 minutes by hand or until you have a smooth and stiff dough. (Tip#1) Cover and allow to rest in a cool place for 2 hours.
2. Mould to fit in a large tin. Cover and leave it overnight to rise in the fridge.
3. After the 8 hours, in the morning, the loaf would have slightly risen. Remove it from the fridge and leave it to continue rising in a warm, dark place. This could take anywhere between 1-3 hours.
4. Preheat the oven to 240°C or to the highest temperature up to 240°C. Lightly dust the risen dough with flour and given it five slashes (you can add more or less slashes but I thought Herbert's five slashes were in sync with the size of my loaf and also is my fave number :D )  with the tip of a sharp knife or kitchen blade.
5. Steam the oven (Tip#2) and bake the loaf  for up to 10 minutes on the same temperature. Lower the heat to 180°C for about 35 minutes or until baked to a beautiful golden colour and it rings hollow when tapped on the bottom.
6. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Your fabulous overnight bread is ready to be toasted and used with your favourite spreads. In my case, my little girl and I had some fine melted cheese sandwiches..ah bliss!

1. If the dough comes together in the 15 minutes stop. Please do not over knead as you will come up with a dense bread. However if you do not knead enough (the 15 minutes maximum) to bring the dough to a smooth, stiff texture you could end up with a flat and not so fluffy bread.
2. How to steam your oven: there are several methods to do this but I chose the most natural method of them. Cover the baking bread with a large bowl or pan for the first 10-15 minutes of the bake to trap naturally released steam.

As I mentioned a little earlier, the #BreadBakers theme this month is Overnight Breakfast Breads. This includes yeasted breads that you prepare the night before then bake in the morning as well as quick breads that you prepare ahead of time then mix and bake in the morning. December is a busy time for celebrations and getting together with family and friends. It is always nice to think ahead and to make dishes ahead of time so that you-- the baker-- can enjoy the fruits (or breads!) of your labor with your loved ones. Here is what the group is sharing today, enjoy!

BreadBakers #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.


  1. What a beautiful loaf! Bread and cheese is one of my favorite breakfasts. Very European!

  2. I've been looking forward to learning about Herbert since I saw your recipe title-- thanks for the lesson! And, yes, I love that my name "Baker" matches with what a love doing! Baker is actually my maiden name but I still use it. My married name doesn't have quite the same ring. : )

    1. Anytime Holly. That's what is so lovely about this warm Bread Baker family..we get to learn so much from each other. I was puzzled what to make as I have already visited and posted recipes of almost all the batter doughs both with yeast and even a potato-yoghurt fermentation process (that Mum taught me). Hehe I still used my maiden name as well ;-) Yes Baker is a lovely name esp. coz it is in sync with what you love to do! Thank you for hosting this lovely theme <3..very unique.

  3. Wow, all that rise with only 2g of yeast! Very impressive, Georgina!

    1. Thanks Stacy. I was pleasantly surprised too. The overnight process is something I have played around with for the first time. Was just writing to Holly of how unique this theme was! I enjoyed experimenting with it.

  4. What a beautiful bread! Its amazing that it uses such little yeast! And couldn't agree more on the part where good neighbours make great 'recipe tasters' and 'feedback giver' hehe :) If there is such a thing!

    1. Thank you Shirs. Yes neighbours are fabulous. Growing up I always watched my mum share with neighbours and relatives. If you have good neighbours, you are blessed! I sure am! :)

  5. Georgina this loaf of bread is a work of art! You did get a lot of rise from it. I have willing neighbors that are always ready to do taste tests for me too and I love sharing with them.

    1. Thanks Julie :) Yes aren't neighbours just lovely! <3

  6. Lovely loaf! I've made quite a few loaves with a minimum of yeast and an overnight rise, and it really does help develop flavor.

    1. Thanks Karen. The flavour is just lovely, isn't it?

  7. What a gorgeous bread Georgina. Looks amazing.


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