Down Memory Lane with my Old Fashioned Milk Loaf Recipe
Do you remember those old-fashioned bakers, those ones where you could buy a loaf of bread and they used to pop it in a white paper bag and do that magic twisting thing to seal it – like sweet shops used to do as well. They may not have had the variety of “trendy” loaves and bread that we see nowadays in an artisan baker, but, they stocked all of my favourites such as Bloomers, Farmhouse White, Hovis, Cobs, Cottage Loaves, Split Tin, Baps, Barm Cakes, Tea Cakes, Fruit Loaves and so many more…….and amongst all of those baked beauties, was the loaf of my childhood dreams, the cylindrical Milk Loaf. I think all children loved them, it wasn’t just the shape or the fact that you got “round” slices of bread, it was the little ridges all along the loaf , like an easy slice guide. I remember asking my grandmother if we could buy one when I stayed with her, as we never had these round bread loaves in our house, it was always mum’s home-baked bread or Hovis. I was desperate to have “round sandwiches” to take to school and was fascinated with the idea of round toast too……these homely milk loaves became a bit of an obsession with me, and I badgered my grandmother until she finally caved in and bought one. (She was a wonderful home baker too)
And so, when the lovely Ria and Sarah sent me a Mermaid Milk Loaf tin just before Christmas, my obsession was rekindled again. I was thrilled with my tin, and set about looking for a traditional milk bread recipe straight away…….but, there are not many of them out there, so in the end I resorted to one of my old Be-Ro cookbooks and used the non-yeasted milk bread recipe as a guide but with bread flour and yeast. I then experimented with the amount of dough, my first attempt resulted in a loaf that did not fill the tin and was an odd shape, not round at all! But finally, I cracked the code, and as you can see from my photos, I have managed to create a wonderful recipe for a traditional old-fashioned milk loaf. The final loaf was soft inside with a nice crust, and this bread has a very comforting taste about it, my husband said he wanted to eat his buttered slices with a glass of milk. I know what he means, it is a simple wholesome loaf of bread, a sort of boy and girl next door type of bread…….
I am now excitedly planning my sandwiches, and I may even wrap them in waxed paper for a truly authentic memory. Will I make cheese and tomato, or maybe egg salad……then there is ham and tomato, an old favourite of mine as well as cheese and spring onion; beetroot are my dad’s favourite and I am also partial to watercress sandwiches, and then there’s TOAST. Toast for breakfast, as it’s British Farmhouse Breakfast Week, and I bet this bread would make a fabulous bacon butty. We have already delved into this bread already, just to test it you understand, and two slices each later I am down to 14 slices left……yes, this clever bread even gives you a slice count!
If you get a chance to buy one of these fabulous milk loaf tins, do get one, as I am sure they will be fantastic for fruit loaves as well, which is what I am making next in mine. My milk loaf slid out of the tin and it was a doddle to clean – just dunk the tin in warm soapy water, a quick swish around, then dry it, and it was all clean and shiny again! With thanks to Mermaid, Ria and Sarah for making my childhood dreams come true, there will be milk loaf on the table all the time now. I DO hope you will try this recipe, it can be made in a normal loaf tin too of course, but the magic is lost a little I think, or am I just a big kid at heart? See you later…….Karen
Disclaimer: I was sent a Milk Loaf Tin to use and review and was not asked to write a review; all thoughts and opinions are my own. Karen S Burns-Booth
I am entering this Old Fashioned Milk Loaf into two bread challenges: