This is quite a different dough from the bread I have been making over the last couple of years.
I saw Mrs. Child make this on an old programme on Food TV. I just had to have a go.
In France this particular bread is made specifically for sandwiches and toast.
It is a milk and butter dough…Fairly rich.
The French have a special pan to make this square loaf, but I made it in a loaf tin.
There is quite a lot of resting and leaving to rise.
You can’t rush this bread but you can delay it.
If you wanted it fresh for lunch I suggest you make it in the afternoon, leave it in the fridge for the second rise and in the morning you can complete the job,
You will then have fresh bread cooled and ready to slice for your lunch time treat.
Or another option...after the second rise, wrap with plastic and freeze till you need it.
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/3 cups tepid milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 pkt yeast dissolved in 3 tablespoons warm water
Mix up with a spatula when you have a sticky ball
Turn out onto bench and rest for a few minutes
Knead on a lightly floured board till the dough gets elastic
Use a flat scraper like a paint scraper to lift the dough
Push down with the heel of your left hand and lift the dough with the scraper.
Pick it up and throw it. No gentle handling here just whack it.
Keep going till it gets elastic and smooth – 3-4 minutes and it no longer sticks to your hand.
Leave to rest again for a couple of minutes
Take 55gms butter from the fridge and bash it flat
Knead it with the heel of you hand.
This makes it malleable ready to add to the dough
Put a small bit of the squashed butter on the dough and start to work it in.
Keep adding the butter and work hard. It becomes quite ropey but it will mix in.
Use your scraper to lift all the bits from the bench.
You shouldn’t have to add more flour it will work in.
Get it into a ball and place back in a clean bowl
Cover and leave to rise about 3 hours
Knock the dough down and onto a lightly floured bench
With floury hands pat into a rectangle and fold into 3 turn pat down again and fold once again into three.
Pop this back into your clean bowl and leave to rise again for another 1 1/2 hours.
Look at this dough it is magnificent
Knock it down
And pat down on the bench with floured hands.
I love handling this dough it is so silky…I bet the little kids would love to play with it.
Now that’s an idea for when they next come over.
I took the delay option and made a little parcel of the dough and wrapped in plastic
It went into the freezer till it was needed.
So I took it out of the freezer and left it overnight to defrost in the fridge.
Next time I would take it out and let it defrost on the bench.
After I had defrosted it...it was time to form the bread.
Pat it out on a lightly floured bench
Fold over and make a crease with your hand on the edge
Turn it onto the crease and make a trench with you hand on the top, and fold it over again.
The idea is to turn it till you get a nice smooth top.
Fold it over again and pinch the edges and put the edge on the bottom you should have a nice smooth top.
Pop it into a light greased loaf tin
Leave to rise in a warm place
Heat oven to 220C
Cook for 30- 35 minutes.
I found in my oven it was ready after 30 minutes.
Isn't it sensational!
Take it out of the tin and cool on it’s side.
Mrs. Child suggested that you leave to cool completely makes it easier to slice.
Now it should keep for a couple of days. T is an enriched bread and tastes like brioche but not so buttery.
It is excellent we couldn’t wait and I cut into it while it was still warmish. Bit hard to handle but it was gorgeous. Well worth trying. We loved it.
Unfortunately because we were greedy cutting the loaf while still warm pushed it out of shape,
The remainder (not a lot) went into a plastic bag and the fridge.
Made great toast.
My breakfast...Peanut butter, tomato and a little basil. What could be better?
So to recap the instructions
Mix the ingredients in a bowl
Turn out onto lightly floured board
Rest for a couple of minutes
Knead using the spatula method till the dough is elastic.
Rest again for 2-3 minutes
Mash your butter to make it malleable
Add a little butter to the dough and work it in
Keep on adding the butter and kneading till elastic again
Make a ball and into a clean bowl to rise
About 3 hours.
Pat into a rectangle on floured bench
Fold in three time.
Turn and fold into three again
Back into a clean bowl
Rise again for another 1-2 hours.
Now you can either form your loaf or put into the freezer till you need it
Pat out on floured board
Into a very lightly greased loaf tin.
Leave to rise in a warm place
Into 220C oven 30-35 minutes
If it is cooked it will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom
Remove from tin
Cool on rack on it’s side
For best results
Leave to cool before cutting
Its not difficult just takes a bit of time and it was worth it.