It would only be fitting that the first post of this new year be about the first meal of the day - Breakfast! (but who stops you to enjoy a slice of it any part of the day?) Nowadays, I am on a recipe revisit spree, more so for breads. The next on my 're-do' list was Victorian Milk Bread and so when this month's theme for Twelve Loaves came up as 'Keep It Simple', I knew this bread recipe would fit the bill. Perfectly.
This bread is a complete no fuss one. There are just two basic areas where it differs from the White Sandwich Loaf. First being that it uses milk instead of water in the dough and second, the dough is shaped into 'S' before the final proofing.
Because milk is used to knead the dough, you will find the texture of the baked bread to be very smooth and creamy. I used the Tangzhong method this time but honestly, I was skeptical about it working since in my recent revisited bread recipes, the Tangzhong method has been used with water but not milk. However, even with milk it works just as fine. Experiment successful! :)
Recipe Source: Bread by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno
Makes one medium size loaf
500 grams / 17 ounces 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 / 13.5 ounces whole / semi skimmed milk at room temperature
1 small egg + 1 tablespoon milk for the egg glaze
For the Milk roux
Take out about 25 grams / 1 ounce bread flour from the 500 grams / 17 ounces flour in a small saucepan. Add 125 grams / 4.5fl ounces milk from the total milk weight and add it to the flour. Mix with a hand held whisk or spatula until there are no lumps. Cook the mixture on a low flame until you get a paste consistency or when ribbons form in the pan when you hold the whisk or spatula above the mixture. Let the mixture cool.
For the Dough
Meanwhile in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together rest of the bread flour, salt and sugar. Add the yeast and mix. Now add the cooled milk roux and rest of the milk. Knead the dough using the dough hook, first on the minimum speed until the dough starts to form and then on speed 1 until the right stage is achieved (which would take about 7 to 10 mins). You can knead the dough by hand as well, but it's going to take a long time.
To understand if you've reached the right windowpane stage, once you stretch the dough and it forms a windowpane, try to poke your finger through it (start checking after about 10 mins of kneading). The dough should not tear at this point. However, when you poke your finger real hard, you get a hole whose edges should be smooth and not rough. If the edges are rough, knead the dough a little longer. If you can easily poke your finger through the hole, then it means that you have over kneaded the dough. Over kneading isn't going to a pose a major problem. Just that the texture of the bread might be a little rough. Don't worry, it takes some time to get this right. Keep trying. If you want to look at the photos and understand, please click here.
Lightly oil a large bowl and rotate the dough in the bowl so as to coat the dough with oil. Cover the bowl with a cling film and let it rest at room temperature until the dough has risen noticeably but is not double in size. Punch back the dough, cover with the same cling film again and keep in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, remove the dough from the fridge and the bowl and knead for few seconds. Spray the dough with oil and cover with a cling film and let rest for 1 hour to remove the chill.
Press the dough into a thin rectangle and roll it lightly like a swiss roll and let rest for 10 minutes. If the dough keeps coming back and doesn't stretch when you press it, let it rest for 20 minutes and then repeat. Remember to sprinkle flour on the counter throughout the process if the dough is too sticky to handle.
NOTE: In case you have trouble following the instructions below, you can click on my earlier Victorian Milk Bread post that includes photos of the instructions.
Lightly grease a 9 * 5 inches loaf pan. 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. 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. Shape the dough in a 'S' shape to fit in the loaf tin.
Cover loosely with a cling film and prove until it has 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.
- Broiled White Free-Form Loaf by Lora at Cake Duchess
- Buttermilk Honey Bread by Renee at Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Country Boule with Spelt and Sourdough by Karen at Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Crumpets by Felice at All That's Left Are The Crumbs
- No Knead Bread from Holly at A Baker's House
- No-Knead Christmas Pudding Cinnamon Rolls by Stacy at Food Lust People Love
- Pumpkin Bread by Alice at Hip Foodie Mom
- Soda Bread by Rossella at Ma che ti sei mangiato
- Sour Cream Drop Biscuits by Renee at Magnolia Days
- Sweet Potato Fry Bread by Anne at From My Sweet Heart
- Victorian Milk Bread by Deepti at Bakingyummies
- Whole Wheat and Molasses Quick Bread by Liz at That Skinny Chick Can Bake
We enjoyed a delicious month of December with our Holiday Breads. January #TwelveLoaves is here and we are going to Keep it Simple!
If you’d like to add your bread to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!
1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!
2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this January 1, 2014, and posted on your blog by January 31, 2014.