Yoghurt bread

I found a recipe for yoghurt bread in a book that I bought recently. I’ve seen recipes using yoghurt and soured cream to make a mock sourdough and presumed it would be similar but having looked at the ingredients I knew that it would be a sweeter bread.

Mix together 300 grams of strong white flour with a teaspoon of fine salt then add 1/2 teaspoon of dried yeast, and a tablespoon of caster sugar. Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly together then add the zest of a lime. I peel a lime (leaving the pith behind) and chop it finely. Then, using an ordinary tablespoon, stir in the yoghurt until it’s thoroughly mixed. This gets you very quickly to the point where you can begin to knead the dough.

Lightly oil a surface (a non wooden chopping board on a scrupulously clean kitchen counter is ideal) and knead for 8 – 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. If it becomes sticky then sprinkle a tiny amount of flour onto the board.

Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film until it has doubled in size which is anything from 1 – 2 hours. Then take it out of the bowl, cut it in half, very gently press it with your fingers (a very soft “knocking back”) and then shape the dough into two squares. Put them on an oiled baking tray and leave to prove for 1 – 2 hours until doubled in size.

Bake for 30 minutes 220 (200 fan)/gas mark 7 for 30 minutes. It will be quite dark brown because of the sugar content but it won’t be burnt. Tap them on the bottom and you’ll know that they’re done if they sound hollow.

If you like you can brush the loaves with yoghurt before you bake but I think that sounds a bit gross.

The resulting crumb is a little like brioche and goes well with cheese. The lime peel, which is my own twist on the recipe, adds something special to the taste. It made a great sandwich for lunch with some Double Gloucester & chive cheese.