You can’t beat a good tin loaf, (bread purists, please don’t judge me!) and the recipe below really hits the spot for me – there is a secret to it’s success though, so read on!
Both my husband and I love a good tin loaf. I’m not sure why as I know there are far superior tastes in bread, especially a good sourdough. But there’s something about the soft ‘light as air’ texture of a good old fashioned tin loaf.
For many years I’ve tried (and failed) to make a good tin loaf. Several times I thought I’d cracked it only to discover the final bread was heavy and dense, or it just did not rise high enough. But I’m not one to give up easily and FINALLY I’ve managed to create a tin loaf that really hits the spot for me.
My eureka moment came when I realised that where I’ve been going wrong was the tin (honestly, it’s that simple!).
I read an article not so long ago (sorry I can’t remember where) which said that if you have a deeper sided tin the end result will be better. So I splashed out on a deeper tin and blow me down with a feather – it worked! In the past, the tins I’ve used were basic shop bought ones which are quite shallow in depth, not that there is anything wrong with these if you want a shallower fatter loaf. But I wanted the sort that rises up high and creates the perfect bed for a cheese and pickle sandwich (or whatever other filling takes your fancy).
I urge you, before you give this recipe a go, chuck out those shallow tins and invest in a deeper tin – you won’t be sorry.
I got mine on eBay, but there are loads of stockists out there. The tin I bought is actually a 450g pullman bread pan. This is a lidded pan which you can make a french style loaf in. But the sizing was exactly right for me so I just use it without the lid. It measures 20cm long, 10cm wide and is 11cm deep. The total amount of flour I use is 500g and honestly it’s perfect. Give it a go and see what you think.
I’ll be working on a pullman loaf (the lidded version) for this tin at some point so keep an eye out for that recipe in the future.
Here is my recipe for a terrific tin loaf. Whilst the recipe below uses all white flour, you can mix it up with other strong flours or add seeds. You can even add more milk or butter if you like! Likewise, you can leave the butter out and replace the milk quantity with water, but I find that you don’t get as much texture to the bread if you do that.
Personally I like the plain version though as it makes a great sandwich bread.
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A terrific tin loaf
The perfect sandwich loaf.
- 500g of strong white bread flour
- 5 – 7g of instant fast action yeast (10 – 14g if using fresh)
- 10g of fine sea salt
- 200ml of slightly warm water
- 100ml of tepid milk (i.e. not straight from the fridge)
- 10g of Softened butter
- Place the flour, yeast, butter and salt in a bowl. Mix it around a little to combine. Gradually add the water and milk until there is no dry flour left. Tip out onto a work surface (don’t add any more flour) and knead for around 10 minutes until you’ve got a really elastic dough. You could use a stand mixer (on speed 4) if you have one.
- At the end of the kneading shape the dough into a tight ball and place in a bowl. I don’t add any extra oil to the bowl for this one, but you could if you wanted to. Cover and leave to rise until doubled in size. This usually takes about an hour in my kitchen.
- Once risen, tip the dough onto a very lightly floured work surface and knock back by pressing down into a flat disc – this removes all of the air. Cover and leave to rest for 5 minutes, this helps with the shaping of the dough.
- After resting, shape the dough by first flattening it out to a rough rectangle. Fold both short sides into the middle and roll it up to make a sausage shape. Flip it over so the seam is at the bottom and give the seam a good press.
- Spray your tin with oil (or brush with butter). The key is you want to ensure your tin is oiled so that the finished dough won’t stick to it as it rises. Add the dough, seem side down, to the tin – make sure you tuck the ends under. You can even press down a bit if it does not cover the base of the tin – it won’t hurt (Honest). Loosely cover and leave to rise until the lip of the dough just crests the top of the tin. This can take as little as half an hour or as long as an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 220 (200 fan). When the dough has risen as set out in step 5 slash the top if you want to (this gives the finished loaf a lovely look) and dust with flour. Place in the middle of your preheated oven and bake without opening the door for 10 minutes. You’ll notice that I’ve not added any water here – I’ve found it’s totally not necessary with this loaf, after all I’m after a softer crust. After 10 minutes check the colour, if it’s browning too quickly, turn the oven down to 200 (180 fan), otherwise leave at the higher temperature. Bake for a further 30 minutes (longer if you like it crusty). At the end of the baking time, remove from the oven and carefully remove from the tin. Leave to cool on a wire rack and then enjoy!