Yes we know we promised you a healthy chicken casserole and it is coming up, but we had to squeeze in the spot of bread baking we did last week. It is National Bread Week. Making bread is therapeutic, it cannot be hurried, it is infinitely more cost-effective than equivalent quality shop bought loaves,. Beyond the excellent tomes of Hollywood, Bertinet and others, there are classes, Youtube videos and websites to help you along. Anyone who followed Paul Hollywood’s excellent series on the BBC, will know that Bread is very much taking centre stage in the kitchens of those who hanker after home made food.
Milk bread – or Pain de Mie – is a white loaf with a softer crust. It works well for sandwiches and also toasts well. Most of the liquid used to make the bread is warm milk instead of water. As a variation on baking normal bread loaves, this is an relatively straightforward recipe and worth a try. Dan Lepard has an excellent recipe for milk bread and some variations on the plain loaf. So we used this as a base for our bakes.
We were sent some Mermaid bakeware to try out. We rather like the Mermaid range and have previously blogged about their range.
Here we used their 500g Loaf tin which is made of anodised aluminium and conducts heat well. It turned out a perfect loaf for jam sandwiches.
We also made these chocolate chip buns, which turned out really well. Based on the Dan Lepard recipe but adapted to smaller quantity and with the addition of a nibbed sugar on top. We also reduced the salt and increased the honey as we wanted this to be a sweet bread.
Studded with melting chocolate chips and topped with nibbed sugar, these are a great breakfast bake, eaten warm as soon as you can as they come out of the oven.
- 300ml milk (whole or semi-skimmed. We used the latter)
- 80ml cold water
- 8g dried yeast
- 60g unsalted butter
- 500g strong white flour
- 25g honey
- 200g chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
- 1 egg beaten
- Nibbed sugar to scatter over the buns
- In a saucepan bring the milk to the boil and then pour into a bowl, add in the cold water and leave to cool to lukewarn at which point mix in the yeast
- Melt the butter in the microwave.
- Add the flour, chopped chocolate, honey and salt to the yeasty milk
- Add in the melted butter.
- Combine all the ingredients into a soft light dough. You may want to add a little extra water though the quantities worked about right for us, making a very soft, pliable dough without too much handling.
- Lightly knead the dough on the worktop very briefly.
- Place back into the bowl, cover with a damp teatowel and leave to rise for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 220DegC (200C in a fan assisted oven)
- Divide the dough into 12 pieces, about 100g each.
- You can now press each portion into greased brioche tins (as we did), muffin tins or shape into balls and shape into balls and space them on a greased baking tin.
- Cover and leave to rise until doubled in size
- Brush with beaten egg and scatter with the nibbed sugar.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Leave to cool on the tray.
We are adding this to this month’s We Should Cocoa Challenge, where the theme is Honey, since this recipe contains both chocolate and honey. Hosted by Chocolate Log Blog and Chocolate Teapot it is one of our regular blog linkups.
Finally we are delighted to say we have been shortlisted for a Brilliance in Blogging Award over at Britmums. Feel free to vote here …!
Have a lovely week.