There are times when you are in the mood to enjoy a slice of home made bread but not the regular sandwich loaf. Rather, something that has a soft and velvety crumb. Milky too, maybe? Well, if that's the case with you, then this bread fits the bill.
As the name suggests, this is a traditional British bread that calls for milk instead of water in the recipe and it is the inclusion of milk that softens both the crust and the crumb of the bread.
This Victorian Milk Bread is a 'S' shaped loaf and is given a double dose of egg wash making it's crust shiny and smooth. I'm sure you would have noticed that the bread has split from the edge. This happens when you place the dough in the oven before it has completely proofed. I was running a little late that day and while the bread was still a little under-proofed, I kept it in the oven. Obviously, it does not affect the texture or taste of the bread in any way.
The loaf pan for this recipe needs to be of 500 grams capacity. However, you can pretty much play around with the size of the loaf pan. For example, I used a 10 inch loaf pan and my bread is therefore longer, though I wanted to give it a little more height. So the next time I make this bread, I will use a 9*5 inch loaf pan. Also, please feel free to make any other shapes with this milky dough, like the three braided loaf I shared with you earlier.
I'm sorry that I haven't posted any photos of the bread's crumb. These photos were taken in the morning before breakfast and by the time I was done clicking them, I was also done with putting up a fight against my grumbling stomach. It was only after nothing remained on the plate except a few crumbs, I realized that I hadn't captured the bread's texture for you guys. This is what happens when you bake something nice..you just get lost in it's taste....
Recipe Source: Bread by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno
Makes 1 loaf
500 grams strong white flour or bread flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1+1/2 teaspoon salt
1+1/2 teaspoon instant yeast (if the weather is cold, use 1+3/4 teaspoon instant yeast instead)
400 ml tepid milk
1 small egg + 1 tablespoon milk for the egg glaze
Click here and follow the steps till you are done with the initial(first) proofing stage. Knock back the dough, cover it with same cling film and leave to rise again until doubled in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured counter. Pat the dough on the counter to form a rectangle. Now fold one-third of the dough till the center of the dough(like you fold a letter) and press the edges of the folded part against the dough to seal the fold. Now fold again and seal the edges with your thumb or the edge of your hand. It should now look like a cylinder.
Remember to sprinkle flour on the counter throughout the process if the dough is too sticky to handle.
Now hold both the ends of the dough with your hands. Stretch the dough a little at a time till it is around 10 inches long(if the dough does not get stretched and keeps coming back to its original size, leave it for 5-10 mins more and then try again). Place it on the counter and press in the middle with the edge of your hand along the length of the dough.
Now fold one end of the dough to meet the other and seal the fold with your thumb or the edge of your hand.
Rock and roll the dough on the counter to stretch it starting from the middle and moving towards the end to form a long rope about 16 inches long and 3 inches wide.
Grease your loaf tin lightly with oil. Shape the dough in a 'S' shape to fit in the loaf tin.
Cover loosely with a cling film and prove until it has almost doubled in size. Beat the egg and the milk together in a small bowl. Brush the loaf with the egg wash taking care that the egg mixture does not drip down the sides else the loaf might stick to the tin and would be difficult to remove after baking. Do not cover the dough. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
Just before you place the bread in the oven, brush it again with the egg glaze. Bake until the bread sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom or the internal temperature of the bread when checked with a food thermometer shows at least 95 degrees C.
Immediately remove the bread from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and enjoy your home made milk bread.