Thursday, 20 January 2011

Simple Milk Loaf: Artisan Bread Bakers

There’s something so satisfying about making a loaf of bread with the simplest of ingredients. I was thrilled when the Artisan Bread Bakers chose this Simple Milk Loaf as the Bread of the Month. Sometimes you just want a homemade loaf of white bread.

As I mentioned in a previous post, January is National Wheat Bread Month. I featured a Whole Grain Harvest Bread in that post because it’s a healthy and whole grain bread.  However, there are other types of wheat flours you can use to make bread, such as, white bread flour, all-purpose, and even spelt or rye. This Simple Milk Loaf is made with a mixture of white bread flour and all-purpose flour.

If you’re looking for a homemade sandwich bread as an alternative to store bought bread (without all the additives), this one is a good choice.

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Simple Milk Loaf

Recipe from the Artisan Bread Bakers Facebook Group

Makes: 1 Loaf


  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 12 oz whole milk, at room temperature, plus extra for brushing
  • 3/4 oz golden or maple syrup
  • 9 oz plain white (all-purpose) flour
  • 9 oz strong white (bread) flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1oz 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. 

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3. Add the flour and salt and mix with your hands to bring together as a soft, sticky dough.  I used a dough whisk instead of my hands to begin with.

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Then I switched to using my hands to make sure everything was incorporated

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4. Pour over the warm melted butter.

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Mix this into the dough with your hands.

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Then cover the bowl and leave to stand for ten minutes.

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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.

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Wipe the bowl clean and grease with olive oil, then return the dough ball to the bowl and leave for a further ten minutes.

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6. Repeat this ten-second kneading and resting process every ten minutes twice, then leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes.

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7. Grease a deep 5x8in 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.

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Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap 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, preheat the oven to 410F.

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8. Brush the top of the loaf with a little milk.

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Then place into the preheated oven to bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F 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.

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9. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.

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10. Enjoy!

I had a piece of this bread plain with butter, but decided it needed something else so I had another slice with Pomegranate and Pear Jam, then I had a slice with peanut butter.  I didn’t take a photo of the peanut butter slice. However, peanut butter is the ultimate test for sandwich breads for me and this one passed the test. 


At this point, I gave the rest of the loaf to my boyfriend. He saw it and said, “I haven’t tried that one yet!” Well, the cat was out of the bag so I let him have some.  And since he liked it, I gave him the rest of the loaf.  You know me, I’ll make more.


Thanks for joining me in the Bread Experience blog. 

Next time, I’ll be featuring a bread with a mixture of white bread flour and whole wheat bread flour. Even though I liked this Simple Milk Loaf and got a lot of satisfaction making it, I think I prefer breads with at least some whole wheat flour.  It gives it more depth of flavor. 


If you’re looking for more recipes like this, click here.

Happy Baking!


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