I still think nothing beats the wonderful smell of bread baking in the oven! Still in the habit of making my own bread for breakfast whenever I can, sometimes the type of bread I end up with is dependent on the ingredients I find available in the kitchen. Last week I realized there were quite a bit of milk in the fridge and decided on the classic victorian milk bread.
Known for its soft crust and crumb, this bread keeps well and remains crisp. The dough is easy to handle hence allowing it to be shaped creatively or even braided if one doesn't want to bake it in a loaf tin. Most of the time milk loaves don't come with additional toppings but I decided to sprinkle poppy seeds over mine this time. Instead of kneading the dough by hand, I used a bread machine, removed the dough after rising and followed the recipe below from step 5.
Recipe below taken from "Bread" by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno
- 2 tsp dried yeast
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 350 ml tepid milk
- 500 g strong white flour
- 1.5 tspp salt
- egg glaze, made with 1 egg and tbsp milk
1. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar into 100 ml of milk in a bowl. Leave for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve. Stir in half of the remaining milk.
2. Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeasted milk. Mix in the flour. Stir in the reserved milk to form a sticky dough.
3. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
4. Put the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise for 45 minutes.
5. Knock back, cover, and leave the dough to rise again until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Grease a 500g loaf tin. Shape the dough into a S-shape to fit in a loaf tin. Cover with a tea towel, then prove until the dough is 2.5cm above the top of the tin, about 1 hour.
6. Brush the top of the loaf with the egg glaze. Bake in 200 C preheated oven for 45 minutes until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped underneath. Turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool.