Farmhouse Milk Loaf

06 Mar 2012

Pan, soda, cobb, bloomer, brown, batch, granary, rolled, basket, milk……all names of beautiful breads that you will find in any Irish market or bakery on any given day, and all names of breads that totally eluded me upon moving to Ireland.

Milk bread in particular sounded appealing to me. I stumbled upon a loaf a couple years back and gave it a try, loved it, asked some friends if they knew what it was (no), then somehow forgot all about it. This dairy-based bread came up in conversation at the farm the other day when I was discussing an email that I received from an American blog reader who had spent considerable time in Ireland.  She wondered if I had a recipe for “plain old sliced white pan” which I will post very soon (promise!), but in the meantime, I had discovered the farm recipe for old-fashioned milk bread and couldn’t wait to give it a try.

After getting a jug of fresh morning milk from the dairy, I made a cup of coffee and measured all of my ingredients. I made the recipe two ways: First using plain (all-purpose) flour and secondly, using strong (bread) flour. The plain flour will make a softer/cakey almost tea bread and strong flour creates an airier, sandwich-style texture. The milk creates a very rich flavour and texture, and both versions are wonderful.

After combining the flour with butter then adding the salt, sugar and yeast, I added the fresh warm milk. Once it was all mixed, I began to knead the dough which became incredibly velvety and smooth.

Ten minutes later I rolled the dough into an oblong shape and popped it into the loaf pan to rise for about 25 minutes (or until it’s just peeping over the top of the pan) Finally, I slid the pan into a hot oven and 30-40 minutes later out came a gorgeous loaf of bread. Just perfect served warm with fresh honey butter and a colourful salad.

Slan Abhaile,


Photos & Styling by Imen McDonnell 2012 (photos are of the plain/cream flour version)

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17 Responses to “Farmhouse Milk Loaf”

  1. Amber says:

    Hello! I made this yesterday and the final product was so good! I am already looking forward to next weekend when I can make it again. The one issue I had was that the dough was extremely sticky. I followed this recipe exactly, measuring with a scale (except liquids, for wish I used a Pyrex measuring cup). I could barely knead it because it was so sticky, even after adding a bit of extra flour. I couldn’t roll it into shape, but I plopped it all into my tin anyway. It rose and baked beautifully and tastes great… but I’m wondering what I did wrong. I live in a humid, tropical climate if that helps. Thank you!

  2. SLJ says:

    This bread is lovely! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  3. Karen Carpenter says:

    I made this bread for a dinner last week and what a hit. It will be a staple in our house from now on. It was ohhhh so good while warm with butter on it. Thank you for the recipe. I love your blog, Ireland is one of my favorite places to visit.

  4. Colleen says:

    Made this yesterday – one of the easiest yeast bread recipes (once I figured out how to change the oven from Fahrenheit to Celsius). Hubby loved the texture and the light “milky” flavor. Definitely will make again!

  5. This looks delicious, and there is something about adding milk to things that make them so rich and tasty, I wish I could cut me a slice from the photo. My uncle had a dairy farm and we used to drink the fresh milk growing up, I can almost taste the fresh jug you used in this. Beautiful photos.

  6. Bread recipe looks absolutely DIVINE and the photos make it look over- the -top delicious. I can’t wait to give it a try!
    P.s. Ooooh, how I adore your blog
    Lynne xx

  7. LindaR says:

    Love, love, love that blue plate…where did you get it?

  8. Lovely! Forgive my novice question, but what does milk do to the bread? In other words, does it affect its flavor, texture, etc? I love the sound and look of your milk bread and am curious to try it out.

  9. Krista says:

    “Milk bread” has such a lovely, cozy, warm sound. 🙂 I love my fresh bread with butter and honey too. Mmm, so good. 🙂 (Thank you SO much for your email, btw, you made my day. I will write back soon. :-)) xo

  10. NicoleD says:

    That is a gorgeous loaf of bread!

  11. I love yeast breads, I was raised on them, I don’t feel I will ever be into soda breads, but that one looks lovely.

  12. Lorna says:

    That looks lovely, I will def give that a try once I get a chance 🙂 fab photos as always

  13. Melissa L. says:

    Yeast breads scare meeeee…I’ve tried building my confidence and baking them time and again but either feel the amount of time it takes to rise OR the end result just hasn’t been worth the effort…waaaah.
    I’ve been faithfully baking R.Corrigan’s recipe for brown soda bread and it’s spectacular in it’s taste and ease…what tips would you give me to venture forth again into yeast breads Imen??

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