Milk Bread

For my next bread offering I chose this milk bread. From the addition of milk, breads take on an especially tender crumb as well as a wonderful color on the crust. For the recipe there are two pre-doughs: A milk sponge and a wheat sourdough.

The milk sponge ripens over 8 hours at room temperature, and is made with milk (for a longer ripening time, the pre-dough can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 hours). In order to keep the yeast content to a minimum, a wheat sourdough is also used. 

The shape and form of the bread is to your choosing. I chose to use two 190g doughs together in round form, dusted them with rye flour, and scored just before baking. The scoring functions as a pressure release valve if the dough isn’t fully proofed. 

In order to achieve even more flavor, the bread is first proofed at room temperature for 30-45 minutes (⅔ proofed) and then a further 4 hours in the refrigerator. After which the loaves are baked.

This bread is a welcome addition to the breakfast table!


Wheat Sourdough:

  • 70g Wheat Flour Type 1600
  • 70g Water
  • 10g Starter

DT: 28-30°C   TA: 200   RT: 12 Hours

Milk Sponge:

  • 300g Wheat Flour Type 700
  • 300g Milk (warmed to 20-24°C)
  •      8g Yeast

DT: 20-22°C   TA: 200   RT: 3-4 Hours

Main Dough:

  • 150g mature wheat sourdough
  • 608g Milk sponge
  • 300g Wheat Flour Type 700
  •   15g Butter
  •   15g Salt
  •  60g Milk

Knead all the ingredients to a smooth and silky dough as usual (6 minutes slow/about 5 minutes fast). After kneading the dough gets a 60 minute rise time (fold once after 30 minutes).

After the dough is ripened, divide it into 6 equal sized pieces, and carefully form into round loaves. Where the dough pieces are to be joined together should be moistened with a bit of water. This will help the dough stick together. 

After the doughs are set together the tops are sprinkled/sprayed with a little water, and dusted with rye flour (you can also use a fine sieve). Careful: “Too much dusted flour can become bitter in the oven from burning”!

Now you can decide if you will immediately bake the bread or wait until after a cold proof. If you choose the cold proof, it is recommended to let the dough proof at room temperature for 30-40 minutes, in order for the cold proof to take about 3-4 hours.  The rise of the dough should be about ⅔ proofed before it gets a rest in the fridge. 

Before baking score the bread once it is ¾ proofed. 

Bake with steam at 250°C reducing 200°C, approx. 30-35 minutes.