What a treat! An opportunity to load my bread with delicious thick slightly soured cream and create a pillow-soft loaf of bread which toasts like a dream. If only all white bread was like this, then I for one would be quite content.
So good I made it twice, the first time as it was written, hence the huge high top of the loaf, the recipe makes 925 grams of dough, squeezed into a square cornered 2lb tin, as recommended by Dan, this guarantees giving you a Wallace and Gromit height bread like the ones in ‘A Matter of Loaf and Death.’ If you missed this here’s the original trailer. See the bread at 07-08 seconds and at 20 seconds? That’s them going into the back of the van!
To make your own Yoghurt Cream (creme fraiche, sourcream?)
a carton of double (heavy) cream
two teaspoons of fresh plain live yoghurt
a yoghurt maker or widenecked thermos flask or somewhere which is consistently warm to leave the yoghurt to culture.
Heat the cream till it is almost boiling and let it cool to below 50 C. In the meantime, pour boiling water over/into all untensils, containers etc, if you haven’t just put them through the dishwasher.
Put the yoghurt and the cream into your chosen container, put the lid on and wait for 8 – 10 hours for the yoghurt to culture the cream. If you have a cool home, try and find a warm spot, the cream should culture eventually but it might take more like 24 hours. I use a little electric yoghurt maker from Lakeland but there are many ways to do this and it’s worth finding a method that suits you and your budget.
For this loaf
Edit November 2011: I followed Dan Lepard’s recipe and method which was published originally in The Guardian here.
I used Shipton Mills Bakers White No. 1 flour and Allinsons Easy Bake Yeast and my home made yoghurt cream as above.
To celebrate the loveliness of this loaf I toasted a slice and covered it in beans and a magnificent sausage from Sunday’s Slow Food Market.
This afternoon I made some more: I substituted 150 grams of white leavain at 100% hydration for the yeast and reduced the water and flour in the dough proportionately as Gill had done here. Why did I make even more of this ? Well, there was loads of cream left in the fridge and Gill’s loaf looked really good and I had just fed my sourdough the night before and it needed a good home.
Here are the sourdough ones, cooling in the kitchen right now. It’s a good thing I don’t have a permanent supply of cream in the house, because I would be very tempted to add it to every bread I made. It gives you an incredibly soft crumb and a lovely colour crust. It makes it worth eating ‘naughty’ white bread once in a while. Aren’t you tempted?