The outback cook who gave me this Vienna Bread recipe, baked for the single-men's camp in a Mining Town. Therefore, everything she made used great quantities - feel free to split this recipe in half, as it will make 5 loaves as is.
40g fresh yeast or 5 teaspoons dried yeast
450ml lukewarm water and milk mixed
1 teaspoon castor sugar
675g white plain flour
2 teaspoons salt
creamy milk for glazing
Preheat a hot oven (230°C) and place two tins of water in the bottom to produce a steamy atmosphere.
Stir the yeast into the lukewarm milk and water mixture with the sguar until well blended. Leave aside for about 10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy.
Rub the lard into the flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast liquid and mix to a firm dough, adding a little extra flour if it is too sticky to handle.
Work with your hand until the dough is evenly blended then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead thoroughly until firm, elastic and no longer sticky.
This will take about 10 minutes.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large oiled polythene bag loosely tied at the top.
Leave to rise at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size.
Turn risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and punch down. Knead until smooth.
Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces. Roll out each piece to an oval, and roll each piece up from the long side to form a tight roll.
Place the vienna loaves on lightly greased baking trays with the seam underneath, and leave to rise until doubled in size.
Make 4 diagonal cuts across each of the loaves with a sharp knife, then bake them towards the top of the oven for about 15 minutes. Open the oven door, remove the tins of water and let the steam escape, then brush the loaves iwth creamy milk and bake for a further 5-10 minutes without the steam to give the desired crispy crust.
Cool on a wire rack.
If you prefer, you can make this mixture into rolls rather than loaves - this mixture should give you around 20 rolls.
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