Friday, 6 April 2012

Quick white loaf

The Quick white loaf (p.63) seemed the obvious first choice to bake of the three breads nominated for the April challenge to bake recipes from Dan Lepard's The handmade loaf. The recipe seemed straightforward enough. It contained milk and millet flakes, two items I'd not baked bread with before. The dough was sticky, but with the resting suggested and the oiling of the work surface I was able to handle it without any problems. I left it to prove for 1 hr rather than the 1 1/4 hr as the dough had risen substantially. I then formed it into one big loaf rather than the suggested two so that I could use my cane banneton during proving. The dough seemed nice and elastic. It doubled in size within 30 minutes so I turned it out onto a heated, floured baking tray, slashed it with a razor blade and placed it in the oven. There was a good oven spring.

The bread looked nice and golden brown when it came out of the oven. The next morning we had it for toast at breakfast. My wife said it was lovely with  marmite. I had it plain with butter and there is a definite slightly sweet, slightly nutty tang to  it which I assume is the millet. For a quick white loaf this is very tasty indeed.

I would certainly bake this simple loaf again. Interested in having a go yourself? Why not join the Mellow Bakers? See how other participants have got on with this recipe here.

For more photos on the baking process read on -

The dough was sticky when first brought together...

... but the dough became nice and smooth with the minimal folding and resting.

It proved really quickly, within 30 minutes.

Without a baking stone, I heated up a heavy baking tray in the oven...

... and still got a reasonable spring.


  1. I really admire your breadmakign skills, somethign I have yet to master. Like your wife, I do like the sound of it with marmite too. Can I ask where you got your 'cane banneton' from, I haven't seen any cookshops selling them and I'd be keen to get my mitts on one.

    PS Are you aware of the online discussions recently around Dan Lepard Recipes and copyright issues? I had not heard of the man until a number of bloggers were contacted by his editor David Whitehouse to remove his recipes from their blog. See here
    Its a hot topic for bloggers at the moment.

  2. Thanks Shaheen, the bannetons were a Christmas present from Sue my wife and I love them! You can get them cheaper elsewhere but I have been warned that the quality is not as good. Anyway, I would rather support an artisan bakery supplier. They make handling wetter doughs so much easier. I have used a colander and a floured tea towel before now with some success. Linen is better than cotton but its more important that it is well floured or it may stick. I produced an elephant man of a beetroot sourdough loaf as the dough stuck to the cloth as I placed it onto the baking tray but it still tasted good! I have one round and one oblong 1kg banneton. I have been told that you could also use a wicker basket well floured or if your needle skills are satisfactory then make your own liners (the shop bought ones are really expensive!)I think Sue got fed up with me going into specialist cookery shops in whatever city we were in enquiring whether they sold proving baskets (and then having to explain what they were!) I almost got laughed out of a shop in Leeds who said that although they were not afraid of a niche market this was a step too far - their loss - we were also looking at buying a food mixer which we got elsewhere :) ) So Bakery Bits got our support!

    Regarding the copyright issue I have a lot of sympathy for Lepard's position. I have posted on the thread you cited. Dan Lepard is a generous teacher and has shared his experience with many people through internet forums and bread courses. he has some great recipes available on the Guardian website. I own his "the handmade loaf" and Sue has his "Short & Sweet"

    On his forum he has a house rule -
    "Do not reproduce other people's recipes on this forum. You can list the ingredients and weights used, and describe what you did, but if you exactly copy anyone else's recipe and paste it on the forum I will remove it."

    I have no qualms with this. I think it would be unethical to cut-and-paste someone else's recipe whether it is from a fellow blogger or a food writer who makes his living through his art.

    I think food bloggers can post about published recipes without detailing the exact recipe. For example, I think the above "quick white loaf" is an interesting post which may make someone look out for the book. But you could not bake it from my account as I have not specified the flours used nor have I repeated Dan's detailed instructions in how to make it.

    I have used several Hadjiandreou recipes on this blog where I have listed the ingredients. But what makes his book special are the wonderful detailed photography and his technique which I have not read about elsewhere. If I were to reproduce that I would feel uncomfortable. in the end I have written about how I made the loaf using a different overnight sponge method. I would hope Hadjiandreou would approve. I hope so as I am saving my pennies to do one of his bread courses!

    the three other books I value are -

    River Cottage Handbook No. 3: Bread, Daniel Stevens, Bloomsbury Publishing (2009)
    How to Make Bread, Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, Ryland Peters & Small, (2011)
    Bread Matters, Andrew Whitley, Fourth Estate (2006)

    The River Cottage book explains the process of making bread the best with some great recipes. Hadjiandreou's is just beautiful. Bread matters is fabulous polemic!

  3. As ever, that looks like a pretty decent loaf, Ray. I never get bored by the banneton pattern on the finished bread; it makes it seem, somehow, more special.

    You seem happier than I did with mine, so maybe there is something in the millet flakes. Did you get those from bakerybits, too?

    I have yet to try a slice of mine with Marmite, but I will soon be trying a toasted slice generously spread with the black stuff, accompanied by some good mature cheddar.

  4. Yes, I know what you mean with the banneton pattern. The millet flakes were from a local wholefood shop. They definitely added something to the bread which otherwise would have been a bit bland. I'm going to try them in a white sourdough to see what effect it has. Struggling to find rye berries - I've found them by googling but I'm going to ask at another local shop first.

  5. Beautiful loaf of bread. I often make that one,using a sponge method to start.

  6. Thank you! I usually use a sponge method too, and often adapt other
    recipes to this way of making bread as I am familiar with it and it
    seems to work!