BBD #10 : Simple Milk Loaf

Rough night last night. Sat through the whole of the final for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. Phew. I mean, what’s with the ice-skater, the man with the unbuttoned shirt and the guy playing the violin, on his knees? Commiserations to B for Ireland’s top drawer entry by Dustin the Turkey, not even making it in to the final. Ireland was surely robbed!

Now all I need is something soothing to help me start the day. A slice or two of a simple milk loaf, toasted. A wedge of Manchego from La Mancha in Spain. A cup of tea. The simple things in life paving the way for what looks like the beginnings of a very good day.

This milk loaf is my contribution to BBD #10, hosted by Melissa of Baking A Sweet Life. The theme she has chosen is Breakfast Breads.

Simple Milk Loaf :
(from The Art of Handmade Bread by Dan Lepard)

1 1/2 teaspoon fresh yeast, crumbled
350g whole milk at 20’C
1 tablespoon corn or maple syrup
250g plain flour
250g bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons warm melted unsalted butter

In a large bowl, beat the yeast with the milk and syrup. Add the flours and the salt, and squidge the lot together with your hands until you have a soft, sticky dough and the flour and liquid have evenly combined. Pour over the warm melted butter, and then squeeze this into the dough. Scrape any remaining dough from your hands, cover the bowl and leave for 10 minutes. Rub 1 teaspoon of olive oil or corn oil on the work-surface and knead the dough for 10 seconds, ending with the dough in a smooth round ball. Wipe the bowl clean and rub with 1 teaspoon olive oil, return the dough to it, cover and leave for an additional 10 minutes. Repeat this light kneading twice more, at 10 minute intervals, then leave the dough for 30 minutes.

Grease and flour a deep loaf pan. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Drop them side-by -side into the prepared pan, cover with a cloth, and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until almost doubled in height.

Preheat the oven to 210’C. Brush the top of the loaf with a little cream or milk, and bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 176’C and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until the top of the loaf is a shiny dark brown, and the loaf has come away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the pan, and allow to cool on a wire rack.


  1. Baking Soda said,

    May 26, 2008 @ 3:52 pm

    Okay, you had me in the first sentence. Really? I used to, in the old days, but now…no way I am going to look at those strange creations! (Holland didn’t make it through the semi finals either and she could sing!) Nice loaf!

  2. Lorraine E said,

    May 26, 2008 @ 7:38 pm

    How much baking are you doing? Your place must smell great lol Have your neighbours started knocking on your door yet?

  3. Y said,

    May 26, 2008 @ 8:24 pm

    Baking Soda: It’s one of those things where if you start watching, you really can’t look away, no matter how bad you know it is. I have to confess though, I did skip most of the bits at the end concerning voting. I mean, who really cares how voted? Of course, it’s often not about being able to sing either. Look at Germany’s entry, that scored higher than the UK, despite being completely out of tune!

    Lorraine: I’m slowing down, honestly!

  4. Eva said,

    May 28, 2008 @ 2:38 pm

    I watched it, too, including both semi-finals (don’t ask me why…) – maybe it’s my masochistic streak cos the Germans always screw it up… However, I’ve never understood the whole as I would always vote totally different…
    Anyway, nice bread, I still have to blog about my BBD-entry.

  5. Y said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 7:24 am

    The sem-finals! Wow Eva, that’s a lot of bad music you just spent time listening to then! hehe..

  6. Jude said,

    June 5, 2008 @ 1:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing this recipe…. I’m always interested in Lepard’s formulas.

  7. Susan/Wild Yeast said,

    June 7, 2008 @ 1:38 pm

    That does sound like a lovely soothing breakfast. Beautiful loaf — isn’t Dan Lepard’s book great?

  8. zorra said,

    June 7, 2008 @ 5:14 pm

    Wonderful loaf! I should take out Dan Lepards book more.

  9. Aparna said,

    June 9, 2008 @ 3:53 pm

    The simplicity of your loaf really appeals to me. I’m going to try this one of these days.

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