Tomorrow is Canada Day, and I’m catching a train down to London to spend the day as an honorary Canadian in Trafalgar Square, in the absence of my good friend Susie. She’s stuck in Ontario, celebrating Canada Day in Canada, of all places! I’ve got her permission to be Canadian, and spend the whole day saying all of the following;
Eh? (What did you say?)
Eh? (What do you think?)
Eh? (To end any sentence)
Hoser (Loser, or good friend. Not confusing at all…)
Take off! (You’re kidding, no way!)
Skates (What all Canadians wear as their first shoes)
Lumberjack (See Monty Python)
To mark tomorrow’s festivities, I’ve baked a loaf of bread. But not just any loaf of bread. This is a Canada Day loaf, made with Canadian maple syrup. The following recipe belongs to Dan Lepard, a fantastic baker who writes regularly for the Guardian.
Simple milk loaf (or ‘Canada Day loaf Eh?’)
1 tsp fast action yeast
350g whole milk at 20C
20g Canadian maple syrup
250g plain white flour
250g strong white flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
25g warm melted unsalted butter
In a jug, mix the milk and syrup. In a large bowl, mix the flours and the yeast, then the salt. Add the liquid to the flour, combine, then add the melted butter. Knead the dough energetically for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Put the dough back into the bowl, and cover with cling film, leaving the dough to rise for around an hour, until doubled in size.
Knock the air out of the dough, then divide into two equal pieces. Shape these into balls. Oil and flour a 2lb loaf tin, then place both balls of dough into the tin. Cover the tin loosely with cling film. Preheat the oven to 210C.
When the dough has risen above the top of the loaf tin, and the oven has reached temperature, brush the top of the dough with milk, and place the tin in the oven. Cook at 210C for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180C and cook for a further 25 minutes.
This bread is particularly good for your morning toast, due to the fact that it contains syrup, so it will produce lovely golden, crispy slices of toast. It also makes great sandwiches and is quite strong and sturdy, so will tolerate a battering in a lunchbox.