Bread was my first foray into baking over 8 years ago. Since baking my first loaf I cannot remember buying bread from the store unless the family was on vacation. When I started baking bread the question I had was “could I do this on regular basis?” but I soon realised that you make time and plan it into your busy schedule. In this bread making series, I’ll be looking into making different types of bread starting with milk bread. Hopefully, I’ll be able to pass on all my tips that I have learnt over the years.
I remember during this time when I started baking, I tried to maintain a sourdough culture for making sourdough bread, but it was an epic fail as my young children did not have the palate for sourdough bread. So I tried my hands at milk bread and it was a hit, and my family loved it and we have never looked back.
I make my milk bread using four basic ingredients namely, flour, milk, yeast and salt. These are all combined and kneaded in a food mixer using a dough hook, and then baked in a bread tin for about forty minutes. Before I had my food mixer, I use to knead by hand, but I do this very occasionally now. Why the effort when a machine can do this? Milk bread tends to stay fresher than bread made with ordinary water. It will stay fresh in a air tight containers for 3 to 4 days, however I slice it up few hours after it is baked and freeze it.
What you will need to bake this loaf
- Food mixer with a dough hook
- 3lbs (1.5Kg) bread tin
- Measuring jug
- Electronic weighing scale
- Kitchen timer
- Small bowl
- Large bowl for proofing
- Cling film
- Clean kitchen towel
- Cooling rack
- Warm area in the house for the dough to proof
- 800g strong bread flour
- 580g lukewarm milk
- 18g fresh yeast or 7g fast action dry yeast
- 9g salt ( Use sea salt)
- Grease you bread tin using butter or margarine
- Weigh out 800g of bread flour into the food mixer bowl
- Add 580g of cold milk to the measuring jug, and heat for about 1 minute in the microwave
- Weigh out the salt and make a hole to one side of the flour and cover it up
- Weigh out the yeast into a small bowl, and dissolve it with part of the milk from the microwave. Once fully dissolved make a well in the centre of the flour and add the yeast mixture
- Place the bowl onto the food mixer, connect the dough hook and begin to work the dough at the lowest speed, then begin to add the milk gradually until jug is empty.
- Continue to knead the dough for another 5 to 7 minutes, but nothing more.
- Transfer the dough to a large bowl, cover with cling film and a clean kitchen towel, and allow to proof for 2 hours
- Once proofed empty dough onto a floured worktop and knead for up to 2 to 3 minutes releasing all the air.
- Shape the dough and transfer to the bread tin, cover with greased cling film and allow to proof for a further 30 to 40 minutes
- Switch on the oven setting the heat to 210C
- Transfer the tin to the oven and bake at 210C for 12 minutes, lowering the heat to 180C and baking it for a further 28 minutes.
- Once the time is completed remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack.