Simple Milk Loaf

Well I have shown you the kneading method I use and now here is one of my favourite bread recipes that incorporates the technique. The recipe is from Dan Lepard’s great book “The Handmade Loaf” which has some fantastic recipes for international breads, but is not ideal for anyone short on free time.  It’s a book for the commited breadmaker, dabblers should look elsewhere.

This is a pretty simple recipe and really great for toast and sarnies. It makes me want to pay the highly inflated (in Spain), price for a jar of Marmite or branston pickle or both!!

Simple Milk Loaf

1 ½ tsp of fresh yeast crumbled (or 1 tsp dried yeast)

350g whole milk at room temperature

20g golden, maple syrup or honey

250g plain white flour

250g strong white flour

1 ½ tsp salt

25g warm melted butter

  1. In a large bowl whisk the milk with the yeast and syrup. Add the flours and salt and combine all togeather so you have soft sticky dough. Pour over melted butter and squidge it in. Cover the bowl and leave for 10 mins.
  2. Rub 1 tsp of sunflower or veg oil on your hands and workbench and knead for 10 seconds (see video) clean the bowl and grease with a little more oil. Return the dough and cover 10 mins.
  3. Oil hands and workbench, Knead  the dough 10 seconds put back in bowl and cover for 10mins.
  4. Oil hands and workbench, Knead  the dough 10 seconds put back in bowl and cover for 10mins.
  5. Oil hands and workbench, Knead  the dough 10 seconds put back in bowl and cover .
  6. Leave for 30 minutes covered.
  7. Grease and flour a deep loaf tin 12x19cm. divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Drop them side by side into the prepared tin. Cover with cloth and leave to rise for 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.
  8. Preheat the oven to 210c. brush the top of the loaf with milk and bake for 15mins, then lower the heat to 180c and bake for another 25-30 mins. Or until top of loaf is shiny and brown and the loaf has come away from the sides of the tin.
  9. Remove from tin and leave to cool on a wire rack. (important to leave it to cool before eating or cutting as the loaf is still cooking and although the temptation is to try a slice there and then resist. )

Here is a summary I find useful when making these types of loaves as I often lose myself a little in recipe

  1. Mix.
  2. leave for 10mins,then knead 10 secs, cover x 4
  3. Knead,Leave 30mins, covered.
  4. Shape, put in tin (2balls)
  5. Leave 1 ½ hrs.
  6. Put in oven 210c 15mins then 180c for 25-30 mins.
  7. Cool, scoff!

When you have made the bread post a picture. happy baking!!!


Burgers for your Buns!

As promised here is the recipe for the juicy burgers featured in our homemade burger buns piccies.  They are a throw together recipe, with basically whatever was in the fridge, but turned out pretty good!Nice and moist and held their shape nicely.

Rioja not mandatory but it goes down pretty well!

In Spain they tend to sell mince meat as a mix of beef and pork, which I was a little apprehensive about, but they had a really nice flavour, so I would recommend using a mix if you can!  Also, products such as ‘heart smart’ and ‘lean’ mince do not exist, so this is the full blown fat  filled stuff.  But lets be honest, this probably helps with the juicy factor!

They also feature a couple of grated carrots, which was met with a roll of the eyeballs from breadhead, but the residual dietitian in me still tries to find ways to ‘hide’ veggies in food to bump up the daily intake.  Not that either of us would have a problem munching on a carrot, but for those who are not so rabbit inclined, its a good way to get a few more vitamins in and reduce the fat content as you can then use a little less meat.  Zucchini also works well.

I added a good splodge of mustard and a few dried chillies to the mix for a bit of heat, but didn’t really taste them, so would probably increase this next time.  Or just add more chilli sauce on serving!  We had these with lettuce, tomato, beetroot, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese and a good splodge of mustard tomato sauce mix (1Tbsp mustard to 2 Tbsp sauce).  This is a breadhead creation, and apparently is a big hit with the kids, who may be reluctant to eat mustard on its own, and it went down pretty well with the adults too!

We served these with mixed roasted vegetable ‘chips’, so it ended up being a pretty veggie heavy meal, but without sacrificing the burger junk food satisfaction.

Juicy Burger Recipe

makes 6-8 burgers depending how big you like them!

500g minced meat (mix of pork and beef if possible)

1/2 an onion (diced)

1 clove garlic (diced)

1 Tbsp hot mustard

3 dried chillies finely chopped

2 small carrots (grated)

1 tsp herbs de provence (mixed herbs)

1 egg (beaten)

2 Tbsp breadcrumbs (bought or homemade)

salt and pepper to season

1.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined

2.  Shape into patties of the size you want.

3.  Put patties on a tray and cover with cling film.  Leave in fridge for 1/2 hour or more.

4.  When ready to cook, heat a little oil in frying pan or BBQ and cook one side over a medium heat for about 4 minutes.

5.  Flip and place a slice of cheese on top of the pattie to get a nice melty effect.

6.  Cook the other side until cooked through.

7.  Serve with whatever condiments you fancy and a bumper burger bun!

Mixed Roast Veggie ‘Chips’

A mixture of veggies such as potato, pumpkin, sweet potato, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, onions, carrot or garlic.

herbs de provence, salt, pepper and olive oil

1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius

2.  Cut all veggies to equal sized pieces and toss in a bowl with olive oil, herbs and salt and pepper until well coated.

3.  Pour onto oven tray and cook until all veggies are soft (about 40 minutes or about and hour in our oven!)

Roast veggie chippies!

Super Speccy Sarnie

This is hands down my favourite sandwich.  It was created by breadhead, in the back of a van, and I was sent off to Madrid airport with this little beauty as a packed lunch!  This not only saved me 10 euros ( the going price of lunch in Madrid airport), but made me look at the other travelers with their overpriced slices of ham in dry bread (the composition of a sandwich in Madrid airport) and smile smuggly as I bit into the moist filling surrounded by crunchy crusty Galician bread.

The key to a good sandwich we both agree is the moisture.  A sandwich should have enough wet ingredients such as sauces or spreads to produce a soft moist centre, although not so much as to make for a uncontrollable wet mush.  A generous spread of mayonnaise and thick avocado help make this one a winner.

A good bread is obviously imperative too.  A nice crunchy crust is important (although not teeth-shatteringly so), and a soft, but dense centre, that can absorb a little of the sandwiches filling.  Make sure to pick up your loaf before you buy and test for weight.  If its a little on the light side chances are you will cut it open and find only air, leaving a crisp shell with nothing inside!

We usually use breadheads homemade sourdough for this, but any heavy crusty bread works well!

Super Speccy Sarnie Recipe

makes one sandwich (fairly supersized!)

Two good thick slices of bread

Mayonnaise (homemade-recipe coming! or good quality bought)

tomato sliced thinly

two slices smoked salmon


salt and pepper

1.  Coat one slice of bread with a good spread of mayonnaise

2.  Coat the other side with some chunks of avocado (be generous)

3.  Add salmon and 2-3 slices tomato on top of avocado.

4.  Season with salt and pepper