An amazing, rich, very soft and so tasty loaf of bread, courtesy of the WI ladies. Apart from using whole milk instead of water, it also has a higher fat content, making the texture incredibly soft and irresistibly delicious. You could use semi skimmed, but I followed the original recipe, from the days when those WI ladies had never heard of semi skimmed.
I have adapted the recipe to use dried yeast and you can imagine the original used fresh yeast.
But use dried active yeast [not quick]
Pre heat your fan oven to 210C and lightly butter a baking sheet.
1 lb strong plain flour
1 teaspoonful salt
3 oz butter
½ pint lukewarm whole milk
1 level tablespoon dried active yeast
some extra milk to glaze
Add the yeast to the warm milk and leave until frothy, with half a teaspoon of sugar.
In a medium mixing bowl, [or like me, a mixer with a dough hook] place the flour, salt and butter then rub in the fat until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the frothy milk and knead for ten mins.
Cover and place in a warm spot until double in size - about 1-1½ hours.
Transfer to your work surface and knock back then knead again until firm. Shape as a loaf, or divide into 12-16 pieces to make soft rolls.
I shaped the above into a long tapered loaf. Leave to rise, lightly covered with cling film.
Brush the top of the loaf or rolls with a little more milk. Make three or four deep slashes with a lamé or very sharp knife then bake in your hot, pre heated, oven for about 25 mins. 15-20 mins for the rolls, depending on their size.
Just lovely. But then I never doubted it would be. I loved the very soft texture. It keeps well too.