Dan Lepard’s Sourcream Sandwich Loaf with homemade Creme Fraiche

Autumn light is kind to bread

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.

Reminds me of Mickey Mouse a bit – cut while still warm so it looks a bit squashed, whoops!

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 have a look for the trailer on You Tube.

To make your own Yoghurt Cream (creme fraiche, sourcream?)

You need

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.

Toast holds up to the beans and fennel sausage!


38 thoughts on “Dan Lepard’s Sourcream Sandwich Loaf with homemade Creme Fraiche

  1. cityhippyfarmgirl

    Joanna could they get any more perfect looking? I think you need to open a little backyard bakery. Word of mouth, you would have people lining up to buy your beautiful breads. Those loaves are divine!

  2. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

    There is only one slight problem, Heidi, Celia and Brydie, and as you are the most likely to bake this, I think I should tell you – it is so soft and billowy that it is really, really hard to cut, so no idea how come 3/4 has been eaten already. I didn’t even let it prove the whole 90 minutes on the final prove, I think it had a mere 45 minutes or so, I turned my back for ten minutes and it was climbing out of the tin. It either needs a bigger tin, or 10 per cent less dough and then it would look a bit more sensible, I wondered at the time if these doughs had weaving potential, soft, smooth and quite firm…

    1. hopeeternal

      I saw this in the Guardian a week or so ago and have printed it off to make. It looked really moist and delicious and yours does too.
      Re the cutting problem … I was once told that any new bread cuts better with a wetted knife – and I find it works.
      Thanks for your thoughts about tin size.

      1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

        That’s a good tip about the wetted knife Hope, I will try it next time, though if I make this bread at this size again I think I will need a bigger knife ! Thanks for commenting!

  3. Christine

    I’m tempted! What a beautiful bread, Jo. Love the use of yoghurt in it too…when I saw ‘sour cream’ I suddenly thought ‘hey I wonder how yoghurt would go…’ but you’re already one step ahead of me! My family would gobble this bread up in no time:)

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      It would be gobbled up as soon as it came out of the oven, Christine! It’s the cream (in the disguise of sourcream/yoghurt) that makes the crumb so tender I think.

  4. cityhippyfarmgirl

    Joanna I love the imagery of the dough climbing out of the tin. Tell me, for the sourdough version how long were your proves? Does the creme fraiche inhibit the dough at all? It sure doesn’t look it from the size of your loaves, but just checking…also how much flour would you have used for the 150 gms of starter (approx)?…I think I want to play :-)

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Brydie, I don’t know the answer about whether the sourcream inhibits the dough… I don’t think it did. For the sourdough version the proves at a room temp of about 22 C were maybe three and a half hours in bulk and the same again in the tin? I didn’t time it but went by eye and touch, annoying I know. I think I mixed the dough at about 9 am and baked it round 5 pm.

      The starter is about 20 grams mature starter to 75 grams flour/75 grams water, a simple 100% ratio of flour to water.

      Depending on how thick your creme fraiche is you may want to add more water or a little boiled and cooled milk to the final mix, I think maybe I should have done that to get the dough a little looser.

      So a starting off formula would be something like :
      150 g sourdough starter
      125g cold sour cream
      115 grams cold water
      60 grams boiling water
      2 tsp salt
      2 tsp caster sugar
      475g strong white flour

      but don’t quote me on this one, you might have to play around with it a bit :)

  5. GillthePainter

    Wey hey! I’ve been mentioned.
    Your loaves look fantastic Joanna. I haven’t blogged mine yet, but will get round to it at the weekend.

    But I thought this was a particularly pleasing loaf recipe from Dan.

    Well done on making the yoghurt cream. I just used creme fraiche with soya milk.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Look forward to reading your blog post Gill! It’s always a pleasure to read what you write. I particularly liked that lamb dish with the balsamic vinegar that you recommended by the way.

      That high top is a bit much isn’t it? The slices don’t fit in the toaster :)

  6. Fran

    Your loaf looks absolutely scrumptious!!
    Looking forward to baking the sour cream loaf . Many thanks for the tip about the Yogurt Cream. I have a yogurt maker so will make my own.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      You’re welcome Fran. Look forward to seeing your version too :) The yoghurt cream we made is incredibly solid; we’ve been using it in sauces too and I think it would make a great chocolate ganache….

  7. Evidence Matters

    What charming photographs. I look forward to trying your variations

    I like this loaf a lot and it was a pleasure to make: I used a larger loaf pan so didn’t develop the charming billowing effect although it still looked OK. Good appearance, soft crumb and it’s proved very popular with a neighbour who needs to follow a ‘low-residue’ diet and is restricted to white bread (her previous favourite was Dan Lepard’s milk loaf).

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Thank you for your lovely comment Evidence Matters. I just forwarded your link to the Retraction Watch blog to my sister. Thank you for that too!

      Dan’s delicate milk loaf is the ‘gold standard’ of perfect white bread here at home. I think this version is a bit quicker as it doesn’t involve a sponge, and I tend not to use cream in it that often. He also has a great soft white bap recipe! Thanks for the link to your pic – you did the sensible thing and used a bigger tin ;)

  8. Lynne

    Both this cream and the delicate milk loaf are top of our list….for an indulgence try this….slice…lightly toast…little drizzle olive oil….cover with dark chocolate and warm in a 130 degree oven until the choc just melts…drizzle a bit more oil, sprinkle some salt….enjoy with a nice coffee….the recipe book says it is delicious for breakfast, for dessert….as a ‘ pick me up ‘.

    Lynne's special chocolate toasts

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Sounds very sophisticated and delicious Lynne, thanks for the photo too :) I’ve just eaten lunch but have one loaf left so will try this tomorrow at coffee time !

      1. Lynne

        Would be great if you gave this a go….just a little bit of olive oil the book stresses and only in the oven ’till soft not liquid. I can confess that this was today’s breakfast..one slice each and a cappuccino… a kick start I can recommend and will be repeating…double qty of delicate milk loaf will ‘sponge’ overnight tonight.These loaves of yours just say ‘eat me…eat me’

        1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

          I will try it in the morning. Though I confess the last time I had chocolate on bread was that thin dark chocolate for bread that they have in Denmark . (pålægschokolade if you want to google it) Delicious indeed on creamy white bread and butter. I have never seen it here though.

          And, like your children, I suspect I often ate it straight out of the packet with out putting it on the bread first.

  9. Lynne

    Another ‘Winnie the pooh ‘ moment….if you make the choc I hope you enjoy it…I made a miscalculation on DML and put too much milk in…v high chance I will overcompensate with too much flour and all % will be up the creek…….

  10. Jan

    Oh I am so tempted to make this bread – but given my family genes (and my inexplicably shrinking jeans) I have to jog on the spot while I eat bread and whatever I have on it as a means of transporting it to my greedily snapping jaws! And if it was chocolate spread my clock would be permanently set to ‘time for a little something’. I went to a sourdough demo here in Brisbane yesterday and came away clutching a box of alchemical powder which will transform itself into sourdough culture if the planets are in alignment and I manage to come up with the right incantations. I am tempted to sprinkle it over myself and put a dab behind each ear (I’ve always wanted to be cultured) in the hope that it will transform me into a wonderfully capable baker – and I do so want to produce bread like yours and Celia’s. For the moment I have the box on the kitchen bench – it is enough to know it’s there.

    I love the Wallace and Gromit clip – is that Denholm Elliot’s voice – it reminded me that I want to try and find ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’ with DE in it

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      There was a very funny Twitter exchange the other day between Dan Lepard and Annalisa Barbieri , in which she said that he was fattening us all up for Christmas already with his recipes in The Guardian each week, and he replied ‘Oven ready!’

      Very excited to hear you went to a sourdough demo !!!! You can do it, we know you can – as a rule of thumb the first loaf is pretty bad, the second about 500 % better, so no time to waste, make that first awful loaf and get it out of the way. Whisk up the dried sourdough, feed it lovingly with water and flour for a few days, before you embark on your bread. Do you need a recipe? let me know and I will find a kind and gentle one to start with :)

      Do you mean the voiceover on the clip, I don’t think it’s Denholm Eliot, but I know what you mean. He’s a lovely actor isn’t he?

      1. Jan

        All help gratefully received Joanna, – yes please, a gentle introduction would be absolutely wonderful. So far, having read all the blogs on sourdough, it sounds rather mathematical and when maths are mentioned I get a snowstorm in my head and a voiceover like Cruella De’ville’s saying “you can’t do it, get back to the cellar!!!”

  11. cityhippyfarmgirl

    I did one Joanna, well similar anyway. So soft! Sourdough with home made mascarpone and yoghurt. Then put a cinnamon and sultana fold through it as well. Very white and very naughty…still need to try the yeasted hightop.

  12. Choclette

    Oh I am so tempted by this. Up to now, I’ve had no desire to make white bread at all, but this sounds irresistible. Have you tried using sour cream in wholemeal or rye breads?

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Choclette, I don’t make yeasted 100% wholemeal bread as a rule, and I don’t know how it would be in a rye bread, I’ve never seen a formula for a rye with dairy in it, come to think of it…. It might be nice in a bread with say 30 % wholemeal to 70% white or something like that… definitely something to experiment with :)

  13. drfugawe

    My god, I just realized that you’re in the big leagues! Those loaves at the bottom are simply gorgeous. And that has to be the tallest loaf I’ve ever seen! How do you get it in the toaster?
    And our cultural differences are beginning to show – I’m ashamed to admit that over here we have nothing like your range of wonderful creams – everything here now is “ultra pasteurized”, which is sort of like killing all the good things in the cream three times. I know of only one store where I can still buy “old fashioned” heavy cream (non ultra pasteurized), And of course, we have no legal raw milk!

    I admit that it is still possible to get live cultured yogurt (yoghurt) if one tries hard – but almost impossible to get it in whole milk – this is nonfat yogurt country.

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Hi Doc, it was a bit of a monster that loaf, and definitely far too big for the toaster!

      We do get a big range of cream here, from Europe and all over Britain, but I think everything in the stores is pasteurized to some extent. Maybe the title of the post is misleading, the homemade part is fermenting the sweet bought cream with yoghurt, I didn’t actually make the cream itself…

      Raw milk can be bought at farms or from a milkman on his rounds but it has to come from a source that meets regulations as described here http://www.food.gov.uk/foodindustry/guidancenotes/hygguid/rawmilkcream

      And now I’m curious, Doc…. We used to get raw milk when I stayed with my cousins. And I’ve just had a good google and I could get raw milk delivered from this company http://www.hookandson.co.uk/ well, well, well….. It’s expensive and I don’t drink milk as a drink at all, but only use it in cooking and yoghurt making, I bet their milk would make the bestest yoghurt out there though…..

  14. Di

    I’ve made this bread a couple times–it really does make fantastic toast. It certainly does rise like crazy. =)

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  16. Rachel K

    What a thing of beauty! I absolutely adore sour dough . . . although I tend to go by the “old dough” method for consistency (as in I make better loaves that way rather than the sour dough being better!) :)

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hi Rachel, Maybe You could be tempted to make it just once for fun? This doesn’t resemble sourdough bread taste wise as it has no preferment but it is gorgeous once in a while. Everyone I know who has made it, or customized it with a different mix of flours thinks it’s a great white bread recipe.

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