Monday, September 16, 2013

Split Tin Loaf

I'm sorry! It's been far too long since my last post. Yes, I've been making bread, but I just haven't had enough time to write about it.

This past week, I tried a familiar British bread: a split tin loaf. These loaves are baked in tins (pans) and the crust is slashed along the center before baking, creating a larger crust area.

A piece of exciting news this week: I am now in the possession of my grandmother's old KitchenAid stand mixer! I am beyond excited to get started with the bread hook attachment and I'll be sure to post pictures of it in my future posts.

Back to the finished loaf this week. Enjoy the recipe!

Split Tin Loaf
(yields 1 loaf)

5 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, plus extra for dusting
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
4 tablespoons lukewarm milk

Lightly grease a 2-pound loaf tin. Mix the yeast with half of the water and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Sift the flour and salt together in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the yeast mixture and remaining water into center of the flour, and using your fingers, mix in a little flour. Gradually mix in more of the flour from around the edge of the bowl to form a thick, smooth batter.

Sprinkle a little more four from around the edge over the batter and leave in a warm place to “sponge”. Bubbles will appear in the batter after about 20 minutes. Add the milk and mix in the remaining flour from around the edge. Mix to a firm dough.

Knead on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap, and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently press dough into a rectangle the length of the tin.  Roll up lengthwise, tuck the ends under, and place the seam-side down into the prepared tin. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about 20-30 minutes, or until nearly doubled in size. Using a sharp knife, make one deep slash lengthwise down the center of the dough.  Dust with flour, recover, and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Bake for 20-25 minutes more, or until golden brown, and sounding hollow when tapped on the bottom. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool.


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