Milk Loaf Made With Fresh Yeast
‘The flavour and sweetness of your bread depends in so great a measure upon the yeast used in its manufacture that I must claim your indulgence if I seem to treat it at undue length.’
Frederick T. Vine, Practical Breadmaking 1897
Fred Vine was not wrong. For as much as the kind of flour you use affects the flavour of your bread, so too does the kind of yeast that you use. For this simple milk loaf it has to be fresh yeast. This loaf is pure comfort. It’s the very best kind of bread that when you toasted it fills the house with a buttery toast smell that says eat me with something simple like boiled egg soldiers.
- 15g fresh yeast
- 160ml whole milk
- 150ml water (28 degrees)
- 500g “00” strong flour
- 10g Cornish sea salt
- 50g British unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- extra flour for dusting
Mix the yeast with the milk and water to get a creamy liquid.
Put the flour and the salt in a bowl and rub in the butter and nutmeg.
Stir in the yeast liquid and mix get a soft dough. Cover and leave for 10 minutes.
Once rested turn on to a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. This takes about 10 minutes. Put in a clean bowl and cover with a clean damp tea towel.
Stand in a warm place for about an hour to rise.
Preheat your oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Lightly oil a 900g/2lb “farmhouse” bread tin.
Turn out your dough on to a lightly dusted work surface again and knead for a further 5 minutes. Shape into a loaf shape with the seam side down and pop it into the tin.
Bake until golden and risen, about 30-40 minutes. The loaf is cooked when it’s risen and golden. To check, take it out of the oven and tap it gently underneath – it should sound hollow. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.