Weekend’s are baking bonanza time in my house… and I’ve got my fingers crossed over a raisin yeast water that I’m trying out… but that’s for another day and another loaf.
Speaking of loaves… I’ve been craving milk bread.
Milk Bread… mm-mm… the kind made with real milk and not milk powder. The sort I ate when I was young and when Bandra (in Mumbai) where I grew up, was dotted with numerous small bakeries. None of the fancy-schmancy patisserie or delicatessen sort of places which abound nowadays selling bread at crazy-assed prices. Just your regular old fashioned bakery, with big, hairy, sweaty, vest clad bakers who grunted out their greeting (who can blame the poor sod’s when they’re up all night) and handed you your warm, fresh loaf for a virtual pittance. I miss those days.
Now most of the milk bread recipes I came across were for sweet milk bread and I wasn’t in the mood for any of that. Plus I had a hunk of Parmesan that I wanted to see the end off. Which basically means that once its gone I have a legitimate excuse to rush to the fromagerie (oh who am I kidding! I mean the local deli which also stocks cheese) and pamper myself to a whole new selection of yumminess… ummmmmm.
So yeah, Parmesan it was and Rosemary, a 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of the former and 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of the latter… The +’s for sprinkling on top of the loaf before baking.
I used about 3 cups of all purpose flour, to 2 cups of warm low-fat milk and about 12gms of fresh yeast. Activating the yeast in the milk with a teaspoon of sugar. Adding it into the flour with 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil), mixing it in well, before sprinkling in the grated Parmesan and the Rosemary, and kneading it well.
Place into a prepared loaf-pan and allow to prove for another hour.
Brush the top of the loaf with an egg-wash… and score the top, before sprinkling on the extra cheese and rosemary. Bake the loaf in a 200 degrees C preheated oven for 35 minutes or till the top turns a nice golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
This loaf produced such a nice soft crumb and the flavour .was delicious, with the Parmesan and Rosemary coming through… but not too strong. A dish worthy of YeastSpotting.