Milk Bread

Milk Bread

Milk Bread from worrisome milk

My bread isn’t going to win any beauty prizes, but milk bread is a perfect way to deal with “oh lord I forgot to cancel the milk” or “we both bought milk and now  – is it sodding off?!?!” problems.

When I first made this Rachel Roddy recipe, my youngest ate three rolls as soon as they were cool enough, and begged me to make them again. If you want to learn about better Italian cooking, then I cannot recommend Rachel’s books or column enough. Simple recipes, no fancy ingredients and very, very helpful suggestions.

Your milk: if you’re a little concerned about if it’s safe, remember what to do: first, sniff it; if you’re not sure, then taste just a tiny drop. If your milk is a tiny bit sour then you should be fine to bake it in this loaf. Believe me, in my skint days, sour milk went into many loaves of milk bread and soda bread. Once you’ve tasted the milk, if it makes you want to vom, then of course do not use it. If it is one or two days passed it’s ‘best’ date, you are likely to be okay. The heat of the oven will kill any potential germs but, unless you’re buying raw milk, the pasteurisation and filtrations systems of milk treatment will keep you safe and well.

Millions of litres of milk are poured down the drain of every UK household. That milk is sold as a lost leader by supermarkets. Not only are we wasting our money, we are not being mindful of the backbreaking work of farmers and cows in getting this milk to us. So don’t fucking waste it just because of a date! Use your senses, use these recipes and make sure there’s never a leftover, leftover.

Ratio note

Bread is, almost always, an easy ratio. This way, if you have 750 ml or 225 ml of milk to use up, get your maths brain/calculator out and get cracking:

100% flour (e.g., 1 kilo)
60% liquid (600ml)
10% yeast (10 grams)
20% salt (20 grams)


Milk bread

Adapted, barely, from Rachel Roddy, The Guardian, 5.11.2018


  • 300 ml worrisome milk
  • 1 egg
  • 500 grams plain flour
  • 5 grams fast action yeast if you bake a lot, consider buying a tin as the packaging is recyclable, and you can use a more accurate weight.
  • 10 grams salt this is the same as 2 teaspoons but I find it easier to just weigh straight into the scales
  • 10 grams sugar


  • Scale
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Measuring jug
  • Whisk
  • Clean tea towel
  • Loaf tin/ovenproof dish
  • If baking rolls: greaseproof paper
  • Wire cooling rack


  • I use a digital scale and just weigh all the dry ingredients on top of each other. Stir them together
  • Break the egg into the milk and whisk together with the whisk or fork. Pour into the flour mixture and get your hands right in there. The dough should be soft, not sticky.
  • Now, you can either knead the dough for ten minutes, or you can do the no-knead method: shape the dough into a round and return to the bowl. Every time it reaches double the size, knock it back. You have to go this about 6 times (so 6-10 hours) but it works for me.

Ready for baking

  • Lightly flour a counter and shape the dough into a loaf shape, or into rolls. (I have a shite sense of weight, so I weight out 100g lumps of dough for a roll; there's usually one weird one left over).
  • Grease your loaf tin and gently place the dough into the tin. If making rolls, I line an ovenproof tray with greaseproof paper.
  • Turn the oven to 180C. Cover the dough with the clean tea towel and leave to double in size.
  • Lightly brush the buns with milk and place in the oven; the loaf will take around 40 minutes, the buns around 20.
  • When the oven pings, if it's the loaf, upend it onto a clean tea towel or wire cooling rack. If it sounds hollow when you tap it, you're good to go. If not, pop it back in. With the rolls, you are probably okay.
  • When you're happy that everything's cooked through, place on the wire cooling rack (removing any greaseproof paper if you've used) and leave, if you can, to cool.


  • Once cool, I use a super sexy giant tupperware to store my bread. 
    It will freeze well, in a bag, for a couple of months.

Relay racing it

  • Of course it's just bread; but the softness of milk bread makes superb eggy bread or bread and butter pudding. 

Lardy tea bread

Lardy tea bread

Using your leftover lard in sweet bread…


Bread, sweet bread, sourdough and everything. It wasn’t – obviously – planned that I’d have three bread recipes in as many weeks. I certainly didn’t think that I’d find myself with dough-sticky hands again, making another loaf. But leftover lard left me needing to dive into the cookbooks.

When I have a leftover I’m happiest leafing through my growing cookbook collection. I do sometimes google but there’s too much or I’m being too specific, not giving myself the chance to be surprised.

And, naturally, this is where I found the recipe for your lazy afternoon use of leftover lard: tea cakes. The mighty Jane Grigson wrote a version of this recipe in ‘English Food’. I turned to the index and only “lardy cake” under lard. So I thumbed my way and found these.

I adore fruited loaves. And they are cheap as chips. I’ll admit – the pork flavour comes through so I wouldn’t offer a slice to everyone. But if you’ve got an adventurous pal, go for it. Swap your butter for leftover lard wholesale or an equal 50/50 split and, next time you reach for the butter, be grateful that there’s a little more left in the fridge,  because you allowed your leftovers to be your inspiration.


Leftover lard tea bread

Ann Storr
Based on "Mrs Borthwick's Yorkshire Teacakes" in Jane Grigson's 'English Food', pp 305-6
Prep Time 4 hrs
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 40 mins


  • 600 grams strong white bread flour
  • 6 grams dried yeast (or one sachet of grams)
  • 60 grams sugar (I used caster)
  • 30 grams lard (or butter)
  • 200 grams dried fruit (I used 150 grams sultanas and 50 grams of raspberries)
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 300 ml milk plus more for glazing
  • 150 ml boiling water


  • Scales
  • Bowl
  • Measuring jug
  • Loaf tin
  • Brush
  • Clean tea towel
  • Wire cooling rack


  • Add flour, sugar, yeast, mixed spice and salt together and rub in the lard
  • Add the dried fruit
  • Pour the boiling water into the measuring jug with the milk - this is an easy way to get the right temperature
  • Lightly dust your counter
  • Mix together and turn out onto your floured counter and knead for about ten minutes
  • Shape into a round, return to the bowl and cover with the clean tea towel
  • Leave to rise - this will take anything between an hour and or two, depending on your kitchen
  • Grease the loaf tin with a good amount of unsalted butter or lard
  • When the dough has doubled, shape into a loaf shape and place gently into the tin
  • As the dough reaches the sides of the pan, turn your oven to 180 C
  • When the dough is ready to go, pop into the oven and bake for around 45 minutes; keep an eye on it and reduce the temperature if the top looks as though it'll burn
  • Turn the loaf out - if it's hollow when you tap it on the bottom, it's done. If in doubt, leave for another few minutes, checking every couple for readyness
  • If at all possible, leave to cool for about 45 minutes to allow to dough to complete cooking


  • This loaf will keep well but will be better for toast, eggy bread or bread and butter pudding after a couple of days.
    You can freeze whole or in slices for months

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

Mash potato buns

Mash potato buns

How to squash your leftover mash into soft buns

(Ahem; sorry just couldn’t resist). Leftover mash is as soft and beige as leftover porridge. And we all know what leftover porridge is for: porridge muffins, and porridge bread. So how about mashed potato bread?

(Also, two bread posts in as many weeks … but it’s fecking February, it’s grey here it’s cold and I just want to bake. Plus: homemade bread is cheaper than most supermarket bread, so it’s a way of saving cash.)

Remember that every bread is just carbs that are fermented with yeast (from a can or your jar of sourdough starter). I gave up on homemade sourdough long ago; it’s lovely but I’m not that great a bread baker plus I’m the only fan. There’s only so much sourdough that even I can eat.

So, mash bread; prepare yourself for soft, smooth buns (sorry not sorry). I thought about soft milk buns or brioche when I made these, as the mash was already rich with butter and whole milk. I cracked in an egg and added 25 grams of sugar, just because I wanted to. That’s where relay race cooking is the best – you see what’s in front of you (mash!), and *that* is your inspiration for the next meal – not some end of aisle teaser. Omit the egg and/or sugar if you like.

Your leftover mashed potato buns will be perfect when still warm from the oven and full of melted butter and a wedge of strong cheddar. I practised making fried chicken for my kids the other day, ahead of a gaggle of girls coming round for dinner of fried chicken and chips followed by ice-cream sundaes. Sadly for me, there was warm, crunchy fried chicken to eat up … shredded fried chicken inside one of these was … it was unholy.

Leftover mashed potato buns

Makes 8


Leftover mashed potato, from 25 grams to 200 grams
Strong bread flour – enough to make potato and flour equal 700 grams
A little extra flour for kneading
7 grams/1 sachet yeast
14 grams salt
1 egg, optional
25 grams sugar, optional
Up to 350 ml milk or water
A little milk for glazing


Baking tin
Greaseproof paper
Pastry brush


Around 30 minutes for combining and kneading
At least 3 hours for rising or overnight
30 minutes to bake


Rub the potato into the flour to avoid lumps
Add salt and yeast and rub in; if using the sugar, add now
If using the egg, add it to 200 ml milk and whisk in
Depending on your flour/mash ratio, and how much milk was in your mash means it’s not easy to say exactly how much liquid to add; the mixture needs to come together as a dough; you’re looking at around 400ml, but it could be anything from 250 ml to 400ml. Not sure? Start with 250 and see if all the flour is wet and the dough coming together. If not, add more, steadily. You can add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky, but try to avoid that if possible
Once you’re happy with the dough, it’s time to knead dust the counter with a little flour. Holding onto the dough with your left hand, push the dough away from you with you right hand. Carry on with this for 10 minutes until the dough feels silky and you can hear the odd “pop” from the dough


Shape the dough into a round and return to the bowl; as it rises every few hours, gently punch down and re-shape; do this over 6 hours. No kneading required!
When you’re ready to shape into buns, take a dough cutter or large knife and cut the dough into 12 pieces
Shape the pieces into buns by making them into a round and tucking the sides under the edge
Place each bun in the lined tin around 2cm apart
Cover with a clean tea-towel and leave to rise again, for about 30 minutes
Turn the oven to 180C
Optional: glaze the buns with a little milk before placing in the oven
Bake for around 25 minutes, or until all golden brown on the top
Leave to cool, if you can


Like all home baked bread, these buns are best eaten on the day you bake them
If not, cut into them and freeze for up to 3 months

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

(Seriously?!) Leftover Oil  Foccacia

(Seriously?!) Leftover Oil Foccacia

The first time I ever made foccaccia (I know I hate me a little bit, too), I couldn’t believe *how* much oil I needed to use.  So, what better way to use up those one, two, three jars of leftover sun-dried tomato or sweet roasted pepper oil?

Now this is no ‘five minutes to mix and one hour to rise’ breads; ideally you leave it to raise overnight, in the fridge.  If you’ve made bread a few times, it’s so worth it.  The recipe is adapted from Peter Reinhard, ‘The Bread Baker’s Apprentice’.  I love this book and if you’re interested in bread it’s worth the purchase.  My eldest brother gave me a copy as a gift – from one bread head to another.  Reinhart takes you through the processes involved in mixing, proofing, shaping and baking.

Foccacia isn’t always flavoured and I am no Anna del Conte but I do like to, sometimes, add a flavour.  Using flavoured oil from a leftover jar of sundried tomatoes just makes your life easier – you’re not making some!  As the oil is the most expensive ingredient in the recipe, you are saving yourself a load of cash!  And flour?  Well, about 50p – can you buy a supermarket focaccia for that?  Can you fuck.

As with all bread, it freezes really well so you can use up the oil if you’re worried it’s about to go off.

Fancy bread makes a cheap soup tea much more exciting so get busy with your sundried tomato oil and make sure there’s never a leftover leftover.

Leftover oil focaccia

Based on Peter Reinhard “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice’, pp159-163

Serves loads
Takes *overnight*


550 grams strong bread flour
Around 100 grams of plain flour for sprinkling
10 grams salt
5-7 grams of yeast (5 grams is fine if you use a tin of yeast; 1 packet of dried)
100 millilitres of oil from your leftover oil
If you have any leftover tomatoes/peppers/olives from your jar, them


Mixing bowl
Bowl for dipping your hands in
Large metal spoon
Tea towel, one that you don’t mind getting a little dirty
Scraper/dough scraper if you have one
Measuring jug
Baking tray – the size that you just use in your oven for anything …
Greaseproof paper
Chopping board and knife
Sieve, if you want to get little bits out of the oil


A few hours on and off for making the bread – not constant work but you need to be working from home/doing some chores and happy to dip in and out of doing
Overnight – 3 days prooving in the fridge

NB – this length of time is a GOOD thing!  Imagine – you maybe have some quiet time on Wednesday and friends coming for lunch on Sunday?!  See!


Sieve oil if you like
Chop the veggies into pieces around 2-3 cm


First step

Stir together the flour salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl
Add 50 ml of the oil and water and mix with the large metal spoon until you have a large, sticky ball
Dip your hands in the water bowl and mix, and shape the dough into a ball – this may be tricky AF but don’t worry too much

Time lapse session

Once an hour, for 6 hours, push the dough down and re-shape it into a round
The dough, after a while, will double after an hour; the gluten is working nicely when this happens

Sprinkle enough flour onto the side and scrape the dough onto the flour; dust liberally with flour and pat it into a rectangle
Wait 5 minutes for the dough to relax
Coat your hands with flour and stretch the dough from each end to twice its size
Fold it – bottom third to the middle and top half over the top
Dust with flour, replace the tea towel on the top and leave for 30 minutes

Time lapse session two

Do this, twice
Coat your hands with flour and stretch the dough from each end to twice its size
Fold it – bottom third to the middle and top half over the top

Then …
Let the covered dough ferment on the counter for 1 hour – it should get bigger, but may not double in size

Line your tin with baking paper
Drizzle 25ml of leftover sundried tomato oil onto the paper and spread it with your hands/pastry brush to cover the paper
Oil your hands with a little of the oil
Use a spatula or dough scraper to pull the dough, GENTLY, off your kitchen counter
Place gently onto the lined tray, trying to maintain the shape
Spoon over half of your remaining oil
Use your fingertips to dimple the dough and spread it to fill the pan
GO GENTLY -your fingertips, NOT the palms of your hand, otherwise you will rip the dough
Don’t worry about spreading the dough to fit every corner of the pan
Place any diced tomatoes/peppers/olives/even feta into the dimples

Loosley cover the pan with your tea towel and place in the fridge
Leave it from overnight – 3 days

Day of making
Remove the pan from the fridge 3 hours before baking
Drizzle over the last of the oil
Pop that tea towel right back on top and leave to prove for 3 hours

Preheat the oven to 200C
Place the pan in the oven
Lower the heat to 180C and bake for 10 minutes
Rotate the pan and bake for 5 more minutes – check it
Check it – if it’s light golden brown maybe leave for another 5

Remove the pan from the oven and shift it straight out of the pan and onto a cooling rack
If the paper is stuck, carefully remove it by lifting the corner of the bread and peeling it off the bottom with a gentle tug

Leave it to cool for at least 20minutes before slicing or serving

Storage/further meals

Slice and freeze

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

(Not terrifying) leftover rice bread

(Not terrifying) leftover rice bread

Yes you can put ANY grain into bread dough, hahahaaaa!  The glee!  Leftover rice into bread!  I wanted to try this, years ago but I was told “Now that is a step too far” and I let myself be shut down.  But, now many years later and with porridge bread/pancakes/muffins now a happy part of my routine, I decided to experiment.  Just for you guys, obvs.

Tiger bread fan?  That is a rice glaze.  Don’t think “WTF rice *in* bread” think: DOUBLE CARB BREAD.  Now, even your leftover mash can – and should! – go into a loaf.

This bread is fantastically soft and gorg and I’ve even cooked extra rice *just* so I can have this bread. You can sometimes see the rice grains but I think that just looks cute.  See – grain = bread,  So stop wasting cash and bake this bread!

Leftover rice bread
Enough for 4 for breakfast


around 150g leftover rice
around 500g strong bread flour + more for dusting
7g dried yeast/1 sachet
15g salt
Around 350ml water
Splash veg/sunflower oil
About 5g butter


Mixing bowl
Measuring jug
Oven-proof dish
Bread tin
Tea towel
Wire rack


10m prep
30m mixing
3-4 hours prooving & baking
30 m to cool


Bit hard if you’re new to bread; simple if you are a die-hard baker


Rub the rice and flour together so that there aren’t any lumps of rice
Get a bowl of water to one side


Add the salt and yeast to the rice and flour
Pour in 350ml water and mix with a wooden spoon
The dough should ‘come together’; that means all the flour is wet but it isn’t so sticky that you get in a muddle
Dust your kitchen counter with a little flour
Scrape all the bread dough onto the middle of the floured surface; you want the bowl nice with no sticky bits left at the bottom
Before you get all sticky. pour the vegetable/sunflower oil into the bowl and set aside
Take the bread dough; with your right hand, push it away from you
Pull the dough back toward you so it’s a ball again
Turn dough 45 degrees and repeat until the dough is springy/you can feel little bubbles pop and crackle. This will take about 10 minutes
Pop the dough into the bowl and swoosh it around the oil
Smooth the sides of the ball of dough around the dough and tuck under; this stretches the dough
Place a clean tea-towel over the top
It will take around 2 hours to rise
When the dough has roughly doubled in size, dust the kitchen counter again
Turn the dough out and shape it into a rectangle, roughly the size of your bread tin
Turn your oven to 220C
Grease your tin with the scrap of butter
Gently place the dough in the tin and cover
When the dough reaches the lip of the tin, place it in the oven
After 10 min, check the bread; if it’s v dark then turn the heat to about 160C; if the loaf is quite pale then 180C
Bake for a further 35 minutes
Get your cooling rack ready; take your (hopefully) baked loaf out of the oven and shake it out onto a cooling rack or tea towel
Tap the bottom; if it sounds hollow, it’s done If not, it’s not and return to the oven for another 5 minutes
Check it again; it should be done but return to the oven for another few mins if still not hollow
Leave to cool until room temperature – bread cooks as it cools, so try to leave it!

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

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