The weather in Tokyo has started to cool down (thankfully!) so I've started using my combi microwave oven for baking and roasting again. As mentioned before, I've been making and baking bread from scratch ever since moving to Tokyo about a year ago. Having a breadmaker would be ideal, but there is just no room anywhere in this present apartment to place yet another kitchen appliance (for this same reason of lack of space, we don't have a rice cooker!). We'll be moving to a slightly bigger apartment in a few days' time, and hopefully then I'd be able to invest in a breadmaker and have lovely fresh wholewheat bread to eat at home! Here's the recipe that I use (if you've never baked bread before, this is a great tutorial for beginners):
1.5 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/8 cup warm water (~37degC - a drop of water on your hand should not feel too hot)
1.5 cups plain bread flour
1.5 cups wholewheat bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1) Dissolve the sugar in some water and proof the yeast. In about 5 to 10minutes, the yeast solution should be bubbly (if not, it could mean your yeast is too old, or the water is too hot or too cold).
2) While waiting for the yeast to bloom, measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl, and mix well. Melt the butter in the remainder warm water.
3) When yeast is ready, add the yeast solution, the butter and water to the dry ingredients in the bowl, and mix briefly with a spoon or spatula to combine the ingredients.
4) Remove spoon/spatula and begin kneading the mix. Add more flour if the dough is too wet to form a dough, or add more water if it's too dry and crumbly.
5) Knead for about 10 minutes until a smooth dough is formed.
6) Shape the dough into a ball shape, cover with a tea towel or clingwrap and let it rise until double in size (1 to 1.5 hours).
7) Punch the dough down, and shape and place into loaf pan if using one. Cover and let it rest for the final rise, which should take about an hour to double in size.
8) Bake in a hot oven (200degC) for approximately 40 minutes.