I absolutely love how my home smells like a bakery. And when your attempt to bake a bread succeeds, its just pure bliss. This one was a mid night bake. Watching the dough rise, punching it down , shaping a loaf , seeing it bloom and then finally baking it – pure magic i tell you.
Sweet Milk Bread
I absolutely love how my home smells like a bakery. And when your attempt to bake a bread succeeds, its just pure bliss. This one was a mid night bake. Watching the dough rise, punching it down , shaping a loaf , seeing it bloom and then finally baking it - pure magic i tell you.
Measure and keep all the ingredients ready.
Sift the flour [ 2 and 1/2 cups], milk powder and salt together.
Activating the yeast - mix the yeast, 1 tsp of sugar and 1/4 cup of warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes, until the mixture turns frothy and releases a fruity alcoholic smell.
In a large bowl mix the remaining sugar, warm water and milk [1/4 cup].
Add the frothy yeast and mix.
Add the sifted flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix using a silicon/ wooden spatula.
Mix uniformly in a clockwise circular motion. The dough initially appears pretty sticky.
Add the olive oil, 1 tsp at a time and continue mixing/ kneading with the spatula [ i dint use my hands to avoid the sticky mess].
Knead until the dough turns elastic and non- sticky. [ lift it with the spatula and see if it stretches].
Grease a large bowl and roll the dough in it to coat its surface evenly.
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and keep in a warm place, undisturbed, until the dough doubles in size. Roughly about 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours. [ this might take a bit longer because of the higher sugar content].
Gently deflate the dough.
Transfer it to a lightly floured surface and gently pat it into a rectangle, whose length is slightly less than your loaf tin. [ Greasing your hands or dusting it with flour would make this task easier].
Sprinkle the tutti fruity and press it down a bit.
Roll into a log and pinch the ends to seal.
Place in a greased and lined loaf tin with the seam side down[ this recipe yields a small loaf].
Cover with the damp cloth and allow to double once again [ about an hour or so]. It should rise till the rim of the loaf.
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes.
Brush the top of the dough with milk.
Place on the lower rack and bake at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes. If your top starts to brown soon, tent it with aluminium foil. I saw mine a little late, so it appears a little too brown. If you cover it early the top would be a lovely shade of golden brown, just like the sides.
Remove from oven and wait for about five minutes before turning the tin upside down and getting your loaf out.
Allow to cool completely [ for a couple of hours] before slicing.
The dough should be kneaded gently and until the time it turns non- sticky and elastic. I did this in a large glass bowl and used a wooden and silicon spatula.
One thing that worked well for this bread is the right quantity of yeast. I always ended up adding a bit too much ,thinking that the bread would rise better. But the result would never be satisfactory and the bread would smell yeasty.
The water used must be just warm. Neither hot nor cold. This is important for the yeast to get started off.
I used instant dry yeast which can actually be added directly to the dough. But i find this way much better. If you are using dry active yeast, follow the same steps.
It is very important for the yeast mixture to turn frothy. If it doesn't discard the mixture and start afresh. I would suggest using a good quality instant yeast. It works the best.
The higher sugar content slows down the yeast. Do be patient for the dough to double up, even if it takes longer than specified.
Bread baking also depends on the weather, humidity etc. A little bit of trial and error may be needed to get it right. But i am sure you will enjoy this just like me.