Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sweet Plaited Milk Loaf - Perfect for lazy Sunday mornings

I swear weekends were invented for leisurely breakfasts.  This sweet milk bread or Milchzopf, as it is known in German, teams well with honey or your favourite jam, a strong cup of coffee and a newspaper.  It can be served warm, cold or toasted.

There are many people that rarely or never bake with yeast because they think it's just too messy and/or time consuming - I know, I used to be one of them.  That all changed when I purchased my fully automatic bread machine.  All of a sudden, a whole new world of baking awaited me!

Sure the machine bakes a good loaf of bread all by itself, and many a loaf I did bake in my initial craze.  But, I then soon realised the greatest benefit of this machine was that it could mix, knead and leaven the dough for a whole range of other recipes, that I could bake in my own oven.

The recipe instructions below assume you have a bread machine to mix, knead and leaven the dough.  However, you can equally perform these functions by hand, and by preheating your oven to 150 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes, to create a warm environment in which to leaven your dough.

Plaited Milk Loaf


     550gr White Flour
     250ml Milk
     1 Packet Vanilla Sugar
     80gr Sugar
     45gr Unsalted Butter
     3 Eggs
     1 tsp Salt  
     2 tsp Dry Yeast
     1/4 cup Dried Sultanas (optional)

  1. In a bowl using a balloon whisk mix the milk, 2 eggs, vanilla sugar, sugar, melted butter and salt by hand until all ingredients are well combined.
  2. Pour the liquid mixture into the bread machine's bread pan.
  3. Place the flour on top of the milk mixture and then sprinkle the yeast evenly over the top.
  4. Set the bread machine to mix/knead the dough - I usually let it do its thing for about 10 minutes.
  5. Set the first rising period to about 1.5 hours.  When this time is up the dough will have visually at least doubled in size.
  6. Punch the dough down for a minute or so, then allow to rise for another hour.
  7. After the second rising, remove the dough from the machine and knead on a flat surface until its' stickiness subsides.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius with the middle oven rack in place.
  9. If including sultanas, flatten the dough out with your hands and sprinkle the sultanas over the top and knead into the dough.
  10. Divide the dough into three equal portions, shaping each into a sausage shape of equal length (40-50cm).
  11. Grab the ends of the three pieces and securely press together, then plait the dough, ensuring to join the other end securely as well.
  12. Lift the plait onto a baking paper lined tray, whisk the remaining egg and brush all over the top of the loaf.  At this stage I like to sprinkle a thick coating of sugar over the top, but it's not a requirement.
  13. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden.
  14. Enjoy...


Crepes of Wrath said...

I wish I had some of this to snack on right now!

Daniela said...

Complimenti per questa ricetta e per il tuo blog. Nel tuo blog ho trovato dolci favolosi. Buona Pasqua Daniela.

FlyingRoo said...

Christina, I suppose this can be made with a stand mixer, right? I would probably put the flour into the bowl and add the liquid ingredients while mixing on low setting and after that turn it to higher one.

Sticky Fingers said...

Hello FlyingRoo - Sorry for such a slow reply - have been out of action for a while. Yes you're quite right you could make this with a stand mixer as you say - or even just mix it all by hand in a bowl in the old fashioned way!