Milk bread loaf

milk loaf2

Hello everyone, I am finally back after my Greek holiday and rearing to cook again (and share my recipes with you). I confess it is a bit depressing to come back to Autumn after some lazy sunny days spent on the island of Paxos. On the other hand it is nice to be able to throw toilet paper down the loo again (which is forbidden in Greece, in case people don’t know…). Anyway, moving on swiftly, let me share with you the recipe of this milk loaf bread (courtesy of Dan Leppard) which I made for the traditional book group ladies tea party  which takes place every year in August. The idea is to use the best china and produce a top notch afternoon tea. Everyone has to contribute. All the ladies belonging to the group are excellent cooks so it is always delicious and worth the extra calories. This year the host was my good friend (and lover of all things Italian), Jill. She made a lovely job of setting it up (as you can see from pics below). I would have paid top dollars to partake of what turned out to be a most delicious afternoon tea, which would have made  Jane Austen proud. My brief was to make dinky sandwiches so I couldn’t possibly buy a ready made Warburton loaf, could I? I had to make my own. This one was really lovely: soft and delicate. A bit of a cross between a brioche and bread.  I’d recommend you try it! Obviously you have to cut the crusty bits off but they are so nice I scoffed the lot. 😉

INGREDIENTS

375ml whole milk
100ml cold water
2 tsp fast-action yeast (I used 22 gr fresh yeast)
75g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the tin
625g strong white flour
25g caster sugar or honey
Scant 2 tsp salt
Oil for kneading

METHOD

Boil the milk, then tip into a bowl and leave to cool, stirring in the cold water to bring down the temperature a bit quicker. When it is gently warm, beat in the yeast and leave for five minutes to dissolve. Melt the butter. Add the flour, sugar and salt to the yeast mix, then pour in the butter. Using your hands, work everything to a rough but evenly mixed dough. (At this point, you can adjust it, adding slightly more water for a softer dough that will bake extra-light, or slightly more flour for a dough that will hold its shape better.) Cover and leave for 10 minutes, then lightly oil a patch of worktop and knead the dough for 10 seconds. Return to the bowl and leave to rise for an hour, if you can giving it one or two brief kneads during that time.

Butter the inside of a large loaf tin and shape the dough into either two balls or a rolled-up sausage and place smooth side up in the tin. Leave to rise by half, flour the top and cut a slash down the middle.

milk loaf

and bake at 180C (160C fan-assisted)/350F/gas mark 4 for 50 minutes. Remove from the tin as soon as it’s baked and leave to cool.

the Jane Austen tea party

the Jane Austen tea party

afternoon tea3

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2 Responses to “Milk bread loaf”


  • Oh che meraviglia! E che romanzo avete letto? Un’unica cosa: qual è precisamente il lievito da usare? Cosa intendi per fresh yeast, il normale lievito di birra fresco?

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