The January BOM (bread-of-the-month) for the Facebook Artisan Bread Bakers Group is a recipe that many of my baking acquaintances make on a regular basis. In fact, several of them bake this bread weekly as their everyday sandwich bread. I was excited to try this recipe and actually made it twice — once in a regular loaf pan and a second time as a double recipe in a pain de mie pan.
This is a delicious bread that’s great for toast, sandwiches, grilled cheese, and French toast. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s perfect for a daily bread.
Simple Milk Loaf
1/2 tsp instant yeast
12 oz whole milk, at room temperature, plus extra for brushing
3/4 oz golden or maple syrup, or honey
9 oz plain white (all-purpose) flour
9 oz strong white (bread) flour
1 ¼ tsp fine sea salt
1 oz unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
olive oil, for greasing
flour, for dusting
1. Simple mixing method: place all ingredients in bowl of mixer. Mix with dough hook until it comes together in a shaggy mass. Cover the bowl and allow dough to rest for ten minutes. Mix on low for ten seconds. Cover bowl and allow to rest for ten minutes. Continue with step 6.
2. Traditional mixing method: Place the yeast, milk and syrup into a large bowl and whisk together.
3. Add the flour and salt and mix with your hands to bring together as a soft, sticky dough.
4. Pour over the warm melted butter and mix this into the dough with your hands, then cover the bowl and leave to stand for ten minutes.
5. Grease your hands and a flat clean surface with olive oil. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for ten seconds, then form the dough into a smooth round ball. Wipe the bowl clean and grease with olive oil, then return the dough ball to the bowl and rest for a further ten minutes.
6. Repeat this ten-second kneading and resting process every ten minutes twice, then allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
7. Grease a deep 5×8-inch loaf tin and dust with flour. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, shape into two balls and place side-by-side into the loaf tin. Cover with a cloth and leave to rise for one and a half hours, or until almost doubled in height. About 20 minutes before the bread has finished rising, preaheat the oven to 410°F.
8. Brush the top of the loaf with a little milk and place into the preheated oven to bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for a further 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 tin.
9. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.