An enriched sandwich loaf bread that’s easy and deliciousJump to Recipe Print Recipe
This milk loaf sandwich bread is a snap to make at home. Its pillowy spongy soft crumb will blow your mind. What’s more, the density of the bread is ideal for making a sweet or savory sandwich. A light turkey or grilled veggie sandwich or a super delightful French toast will hold up very well on this dense enriched bread.
What is an enriched bread and what makes this milk loaf sandwich bread different than most?
An enriched bread is one that uses ingredients that gives the bread a rich sweet and or buttery flavor. This Milk Loaf sandwich bread is somewhat similar to the Asian Milk bread that is soft and pillowy. Unlike the Asian Milk bread that uses a Tangzhong, this bread uses milk powder. The milk powder not only creates softness and a better rise in the dough, but it keeps it dense and adds flavor. The density is what allows the bread to hold up well to a delicious French Toast or a savory sandwich.
Further, enriched breads come in different types, like this beautiful buttery brioche. The brioche dough is enriched with butter and eggs. For the milk loaf, the dough is enriched with milk, a little bit of butter, milk powder and a few flavorings like vanilla extract and freshly ground nutmeg. Another enriched bread that uses additional flavoring is this popular Guyanese style Tennis Rolls.
What are the basic bread baking steps and what is the purpose of the Windowpane Test
In bread baking, there are up to fourteen steps. For this enriched Milk Loaf Sandwich Bread, not all of the steps are necessary. First, Step 1 is always identify the ingredients you want to use in the dough. This helps to prevent errors. Measure the ingredients in Step 2. Ideally use a scale and measure ingredients in grams. For smaller measurements you may use teaspoons or tablespoons. Be sure to use the scale for the flour and liquids as well as butter and eggs.
Step 3 includes mixing the dough and checking for the windowpane. The windowpane is used to determine if the dough has fully developed a gluten structure – sturdiness of the dough. Simply take a piece of the dough and gently stretch it until it thins out enough for light to be seen through it. Generally, for most bread dough this occurs in about 10 to 15 minutes of kneading or sometimes up to 20 minutes.
Considered one of the most important steps in bread baking is Step 4. This is the bulk fermentation or primary rise. Specifically, in this step the dough develops organic acids that gives the dough flavor and strength. In this step, the dough also develops carbon dioxide gases, which gives the dough lightness and volume.
Steps 5 through 9 are easy steps but very important in the bread making process.
Step 5 includes folds and turns. This is where a fold and turns or a series of folds and turns are used to redistribute the yeast , strengthen the structure and even out the temperature of the dough. Folding also slows down fermentation, releasing carbon dioxide. This step occurs within the bulk fermentation process. For this Milk Loaf Sandwich Bread, the fold is not necessary. The fold in home baking is usually referred to as punch down. Not all breads uses it. Some breads uses two to three and sometimes more folds.
Additional steps includes, dividing the dough (Step 6) and pre-shaping the dough (Step 7). Not all doughs require dividing. Generally, when making just one loaf bread there is no need to divide the dough. Unlike dividing, all breads can benefit from pre-shaping. This step allows the dough to begin to take shape. Pre-shaping type will depend upon the final shape desired for the type of bread being made.
Further, in Step 8, the pre-shaped stage, the dough rests for a short period allowing the gluten to relax thereby making the final shaping easier to handle. This short resting stage is know as the Bench Rest or Intermediate Fermentation. This leads into Step 9, the Final Shape. There are four basic shapes in bread making. The baguette, the batard, the boule (round) and the pan load. This Milk Loaf Sandwich Bread uses a standard loaf pan but it can also be made in the pullman loaf pan.
The final stages of the bread making process are Steps 10 through 14
Equally as important as the bulk fermentation stage, is the the Final Fermentation or Final Proof. While the dough is fermenting throughout all of the stages, the final fermentation is the last opportunity for the yeast to do its work. This stage can take as little a few minutes to overnight. And some breads take two to three days. Attached to the end of the final fermentation is the scoring, Step 11. Not all breads need to be scored. Its purpose is to create a decorative appearance while allowing the bread to expand during baking. For this Milk Loaf Sandwich Bread, scoring is not necessary unless the goal is for decorative purposes.
Lastly, the final few steps are simple. Baking, Step 12, is where you get to see the beauty of a bread develop. The oven temperature varies depending on the type of bread. Leaner breads with no fat or sugar bakes at higher temperatures. Whereas, enriched breads are baked at a lower temperature. Enriched breads usually bakes at 350F/177F degrees. Furthermore, the cooling stage, Step 13, should not be ignored. A very hot or even slightly hot bread will look soggy in the crumb with a wet like appearance and it may even taste a bit raw if eaten hot. Cooling sets the crumb and releases excess gas and moisture dissipates. Storage is the last in the bread making process, Stage 14. For leftover breads, enriched versions can be wrapped in plastic and will stay for up to three days at room temperature. Crusty breads can be stored in paper bags.
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Milk Loaf Sandwich Bread
An easy super delicious sandwich loaf bread. It's quite pillowy soft crumb will melt in your mouth and it has the perfect density to hold up to your favorite sandwich. It's also perfect for making French toast.
- 420 grams all purpose flour (3 1/4 cups)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon milk powder
- 3 teaspoons instant yeast (if using active dry yeast bloom it in the warm water – about 5 to 10 minutes until it starts to look foamy)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 240 grams whole milk warm 100F degrees
- 120 grams water warm 100F degrees
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup butter softened
In the bowl of a kitchen aid stand mixer, add the flour, sugar, salt, milk powder, nutmeg and yeast. Use the dough hook to give the dry ingredients a quick mix to incorporate.
Note: If using active yeast bloom it first in the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast into the water with a pinch of sugar and let sit for 5 – 10 minutes until it starts to appear foamy.
Pour in the milk, water, vanilla extract and butter. Turn on the mixer on low speed – level 1 on my mixer. Mix until the dough starts to come together.
Increase the mixer speed (Speed 3 to 4 or 5 at most) and continue kneading the dough until it is smooth and passes the windowpane test. Usually 10 to 12 minutes.
Note: Windowpane test: Take a piece of the dough, and use both hands to gently stretch the dough until you can see the light through it. Be sure not to stretch too strong.
Once the dough passes the windowpane test, transfer it to a lightly greased medium to large mixing bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. May drape a clean kitchen towel over the bowl as well. Place the bowl in a draft free spot and let it ferment for 45 minutes up to 1 hour until it doubles in size.
Note: Covering with plastic wrap prevents the top of the dough from having dry patches/scabs.
Once the dough has doubled in size, transfer it to a clean work surface. Use the palm of your hands to press out gas/air bubbles. Reshape the dough. Press into a rectangular shape – roughly about 6 inches by 8 inches. Form a log by overlapping the the shortest sides. (i.e. work with the 6 inch as the width).
Cover with the kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes – this relaxes the gluten and helps with the final shaping.
Spray the inside of a 9 inches or 10 inches loaf pan with non stick spray.
Note: I used a 10 inch pan. You may also use a pullman pan. This pan uses a cover to flatten the top of the bread – you will however need an 11 to 12 inch pullman pan.
Prepare an egg wash. Briskly whisk the egg in a small bowl until it is thoroughly mixed.
Make the final shape of the dough. Place the dough seam side up on the work surface. Using the palm of your hands, gently flatten the log shaped dough into a rectangular shape. Roughly 8 inches by 4 inches.
To form the final log, take the top half of the longer side of the dough and fold it half way over the rectangle. Place your thumb at the edge of where the seam formed, starting from one the left or right corner of the log. While working your thumb across the length of the dough and rolling the folded top over to meet the unfolded edge, press the edges to seal.
Once the dough looks like a log, place the seamed side down on the work surface. Gently roll the log back and forth to smooth out the seam.
Note: the finished dough should be no more than 8 inches in length and 4 inches in width. The dough will expand wihile in final proof. Shape the dough so that when placed in the pan it has room to expand – about 1/2 to 3/4 inches space.
Place the log, seam side down in the loaf pan. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the top of the loaf with the egg wash. Cover with the kitchen towel and allow to proof for 35 to 45 minutes until it fills up the pan.
Note: This final proof may take up to one hour depending on the temperature in the kitchen. Warmer kitchen will case the rise to occur faster.
Pre-heat the oven 350F/177C degrees
Once the dough has risen to fill the pan, egg wash the top again. Place the loaf pan on a sheet pan for easy transfer to and from the oven. Bake the loaf for 35 to 40 minutes until it is nice and golden brown.
Remove the bread from the oven. Place the pan on its side and gently shuffle the loaf onto a cooling rack. To check for doneness, gently tap the bottom of the loaf. It should sound hollow. Alternatively, use a digital thermometer to test the center of the dough – 190F/88C to 200F/93C means its ready.
Cool the dough completely, before slicing. Enjoy.
Storage: Left over bread can be stored in plastic wrap for up to three days at room temperature. To keep for longer, freeze.
3 Comments Add yours
Thanks Jovina. And it is quite tasty. Hope all is well. Best Regards.