This is from the bread, rolls and buns chapter. There’s actually not many loaf recipes, instead most of the yeast recipes are for cakes and tea breads.
1 tsp sugar
Half pint milk
Quarter oz dried yeast
1lb plain flour
2 tsps salt
Egg or milk to glaze
Dissolve the sugar in quarter pint of the milk. Activate the yeast by adding to the remaining milk which has been warmed to blood temperature. Mix the flour and salt, rub in the fat, then add the yeast and milk and mix to a soft dough. Beat and knead until smooth then leave to rise until doubled in size. Knead lightly and roll into an oblong. Cut into three strips lengthways, keeping the dough just joined at the top, plait the strips, damp the edges to seal together. Put on a greased baking sheet brush with egg or milk and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake at 220 for 30-45 minutes, reducing the heat if the bread becomes too brown.
The recipes does say plain flour, but there is a blurb about flours at the start of the chapter that says strong bread flours should be used but as they are not widely available plain flour would work. Also at first had no idea how to measure a quarter of an ounce of yeast, but apparently it’s just about the same as 3 teaspoons, so that’s what I used and worked perfectly. I did turn the temperature down as it was looking well browned quite quickly.
I find bread making quite satisfying. The kneading stage is a good workout for the arms and quite therapeutic! I also take great satisfaction in seeing the dough once it’s risen. I have few places in the house I leave the dough to rise; in the summer it’s at the back window with the sun beating in, then in the winter it’s either on the tumble drier or beside the radiator! I’d love an aga but our little house is not big enough! I think I ended up leaving this to rise for about 3 hours. I do have a bread maker that I use for making sandwich loaves during the week but at weekends I do enjoy making bread by hand.
The smell of bread baking is just brilliant and freshly made bread warm from the oven spread with butter is even better! Would be great with sesame seeds. Maybe next time I’ll try the 8 strand plaited loaf!