The nicest thing about travelling with other cooks is that you always come back with more recipes in your repertoire. This is a milk loaf my friend Carl Reynolds prepared a few times during our intensive swimming holiday in Tenby, Wales. A very simple recipe which beats the usual supermarket bread by nautical mile.
- 250g strong white bread flour
- 250g plain flour
- 1 tsp of salt
- 350ml semi-skimmed milk
- 14g fresh yeast (get it from baker's counter of your supermarket)
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive oil (or butter) + more to grease the tin
How to prepare:
- Mix the two flour types and the salt in a large bowl.
- Microwave the milk for 40 seconds on the highest level. Add the live yeast and the sugar to the milk and still vigorously with a fork until the yeast is totally dissolved. Pour the milk into the flour misture and mix gently with your hands or spatula for 2 or 3 minutes until all ingredients have mixed making a fairly wet dough.
- Pour the olive oil/butter over the mixture, cover the bowl and set aside for 10 minutes.
- After the 10 minutes have elapsed, uncover the bowl and work your way around the dough ball by pinching sections from the side, stretching them out a little and folding them over the top. Ten pinches should be sufficient to go around the whole ball. Once finished pick up the dough ball and flip it upside-down inside the bowl, cover it and leave it aside for another 10 minutes. Repeat this action a total of three times, with 10 mins interval between them.
- Finally pick up the dough ball and stretch it over a clean counter into a horizontal strip about 40cm in length. Fold the two outer thirds of the down towards the centre, flip the dough upside-down and do this again in the oposite orientation .
- Pre-heat the oven to 240c/475f
- Cover a regular size loaf tin with a think layer of Olive Oil or butter and dust with a think layer of plain flour.
- Cut the dough in two halves and shape them into individual balls. Place the 2 balls side-by-side in the loaf tin and cover with a cloth. Set it aside for 40mins-1hr.
- Place the tin in oven for 30 mins and then lower the oven temperature to 180c/350f for a further 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the tin upside-down to remove the loaf. Tap the top of the loaf to check if it's solid and makes a hollow noise. Move the loaf to a cake rack and let it cool down and dry out before you eat it.