Tuesday 23 March 2010

Milk Bread - Sheermal

I may have mentioned earlier that bread making has become a regular event since we got snowed-in last January. Not only does homemade bread taste so much better than shop-bought, it makes the house smell amazing and the process is really therapeutic.

So much so that Ahmad and I almost fight over whose going to make it.  I have to stock up twice as many bread making ingredients.

He's been trying to make a couple of types of sweet bread that are traditionally served at breakfast time in Iran. He doesn't have a recipe from mama because it was one of the things she never made. A baker would come to their home once a week and make bread for them. He remembers watching her bake big batches for the family as well as a special little tiny loaf just for him. So the smells and the process of making bread for 'A' evoke all kinds of happy, comforting childhood memories.

So whilst I'm making spelt or wholemeal bread he is producing more exotic breads like this lovely milk bread.

To make Persian Milk Bread, Sheermal you will need the following ingredients:

.1lb of white bread flour
.4 fluid ounces of milk
.4 1/2 fluid ounces of tepid water
.1 level teaspoon of dried yeast
.1 heaped teaspoon of salt

For the glaze:

.1 tablespoon of tepid water
.1/2 a teaspoon of baking soda
.1/2 a teaspoon of flour
.1 level teaspoon of caster sugar


  1. Sprinkle the yeast on to the tepid water and leave for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Mix together the remaining dry ingredients and gradually mix in the yeast mixture.
  3. Add the milk, combine and knead the dough until it comes away from the sides of the bowl and makes a ball but isn't sticky. 
  4. Leave the dough to rise, knock it back and then start all over again...This bread really takes time to rise and needs about three hours, you can't rush it. It's great job to do between drinking coffee and reading the papers on a Sunday morning or checking out new blogs... Just leave it covered with a damp tea towel in a warm place with no draughts or you can make it in the quiet of the night then leave to bake in the morning.
  5. Knock back the dough, knead for a couple of minutes form into a loaf and leave to rise again. This time for about an hour.
  6. Heat up the oven to 240 degrees C / 475 F /Gas mark 9. Meanwhile mix together the ingredients for the glaze and paint over the bread. Bake for about twenty to thirty minutes.
  7. When baked, cool on a rack.

This is a lovely sweet bread that I think has a kind of doughnutty taste when it's just baked, yummy with a cup of tea and raspberry jam...

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