Brown Sugar Milk Bread

This bread is inspired by a loaf of bread I saw when I was walking around some of the markets in London on a day out by myself. There’s something about having a day to yourself as you wander the streets on London hopping from different underground station to station and from line to line. Although I always end up in Leicester Square and Stratford for some reason!

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The bread on display was a pain au lait, or milk bread. It was baked in a loaf tin and consisted of 3 rolls joined together. Now I couldn’t really justify the purchase so I decided to make my own milk bread. I tasted the bread with some samples and there was a distinct caramel flavour profile and when I asked the baker, he said he put brown sugar inside.

I decided to have a read through all my baking books and I couldn’t any brown sugar breads, let alone any milk breads so this recipe is completely my own. This is enough to make two 1lb loaves or one 2lb loaf.

50g margarine

300 – 350ml whole milk

2 x 7g sachets of fast action dried yeast

70g soft light brown sugar

5g salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

450g strong white flour (I actually used plain flour)

Place the margarine and whole milk into a large microwaveable mug and microwave until the margarine has melted and the milk is hot enough that you can’t hold your finger in for more than 5 seconds. Add the sachets of yeast, sugar, salt and vanilla extract and stir and set aside for 10 minutes or until the yeast has been activated and looks foamy on top.

Put the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add ¾ of the liquid and use your hand to bring it together, adding more liquid if required, to bring it to a soft, pliable but not sticky dough. Knead it for 10 minutes by hand until the dough springs back when a lightly floured finger is pressed into the dough. Place into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and allow to prove for 90 minutes in a warm place until at least doubled in size.


For two 1lb loaves, once proved, divide the dough in half and then split each half into 3 pieces. Shape each of the pieces into a ball and then push the sides upwards to form a fat sausage. Repeat for the rest of the pieces and place 3 into a greased 1lb loaf tin, leaving space to prove. Cover with clingfilm and prove for 75 minutes or until doubled in size. For a 2lb loaf, simply place all 6 into the same 2lb greased loaf tin.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Brush the surface of the bread with milk and then bake the loaf for about 25 minutes until the top is dark and golden (don’t be scared to make it dark, the crust remains soft but this is because the bread is enriched so caramelises easily!) and the base, when tapped, is hollow.

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Cool on a cooling rack completely before transferring to an airtight container.

This loaf is brilliant for your breakfast, here it is with a peanut butter and raspberry jam topping.


11 Comments Add yours

  1. gotmeghan says:

    I love that you just went for it and came up with the recipe! I’ve only heard about milk beard, but still have no clue what it is… might have to do some research tomorrow! Looks good though! 🙂


    1. Thank you for the comment! That’s my style of baking, I learn the basics and then adapt the basics to come up with new recipes! Milk bread, essentially, is bread made with milk and butter/margarine to lend a rich sweet texture/taste which is light.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. gotmeghan says:

        Oh! Well thank you for answering that question for me! I hope to get to that place where I’m comfortable to come up with recipes like that… I need to practice a bit more first 😀


        1. It comes with practice and experience; take the classic Victoria Sponge, it’s the same weight of fat, sugar, flour and eggs and you can easily substitute dry ingredients as long as it comes out to the same weight. And experimenting is the best way to learn as well 👍

          Liked by 1 person

          1. gotmeghan says:

            Good advice!! I would love to make a Victoria Sponge cake. Apparently my great-grandma made tons of them, so far we can’t find any of her recipes. It’s still part of my food bucket list though!


          2. It’s a great place to start baking! Oh that’s a shame however there are lots of great recipes for Victoria Sponges on the Internet as well as the Cherry Bakewell twist I did 👍

            Liked by 1 person

          3. gotmeghan says:

            Thanks, I think I need to figure out if my nana and I can make a two layer cake first, we’ve never done it before… We’re terrified! Lol After accomplishing that then we can move on to the Victoria Sponge cake 🙂


          4. Good luck and let me know how it goes!!

            Liked by 1 person

          5. gotmeghan says:

            I will and thank you! 🙂


  2. Mmm…I can almost taste that!


    1. Thanks for the comment, I think I would use dark brown sugar for a deeper caramel flavour next time but when warmed and toasted, it’s brilliant!

      Liked by 1 person

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