English milk loaf
This is the ridged, cylindrical loaf that I remember as a child back in the 60s and 70s.
You can use a breadmaker for the dough but to get its authentic shape you will need a milk loaf tin. The ingredients are listed in the order in which you should add them to a Panasonic breadmaker and set to French bread dough setting. For the Panasonic SD-ZB2502 automatic breadmaker use menu option 21, French dough. For other makes, refer to your manufacturer's instructions and set to the longest dough programme, then continue from stage 4.
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- 7g easy bake yeast
- 450g strong plain flour
- 1 tablespoon full-fat dried milk powder
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 270ml warm milk
- Mix the flour, salt, yeast and milk powder in a bowl.
- Add the milk and oil and mix to a soft dough, adding a little more flour if it is too wet.
- Knead for 10 minutes until it becomes smooth, springy and silky.
- Lightly, but thoroughly grease the milk loaf pan with an oil such as groundnut which is low in monounsaturates.
- Shape the dough into a cylinder the same length of the tin.
- Place the dough into the bottom of the tin, engage the tabs and clip the tin together.
- Set the tin aside in a warm place to allow the bread to rise - watch the dough through the small vision hole at the top.
- Heat the oven to 200° C (400° F - gas 6).
- As soon as the dough can be seen rising towards the hole, bake for 30 minutes (fan-assisted oven) or 35 minutes (conventional oven).
- Allow the tin to cool for 2-3 minutes before unclipping and turn out onto a cooling rack.
You can make this with fresh yeast if you wish, in which case allow 15g and dissolve it in the milk before use. This method is not suitable for breadmakers. For this recipe I used French bread flour from Wessex Mills but you can play around with various flours.
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