I am delighted to be hosting November’s Fresh From the Oven and this month I have chosen a plaited loaf.
I think that bread baked in a tin is far more forgiving than free form on a tray where, you need to pay far more attention to proving time, texture and shaping.
The shape of my plaited loaf is by no means perfect, I found it quite hard to get an even shape and plait, the loaf above was my second attempt – like most of life practise will make perfect!
Fresh From the Oven November Challenge
A plaited or braided loaf – 3 or more strands baked on a tray
Everything else – flour, recipe, method, shape is up to you
To take part bake a plaited yeasted loaf, blog about it and link up to this post, and to Claire and Michelle who run Fresh From the Oven (full details at the foot of the post). I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
I used my standard bread recipe of 3 (and a bit) flour to 2 of water for this loaf.
Recipe: Plaited or Braided Loaf
Makes 1 medium loaf (lasts the 2 of us 2 days)
300ml warm water
1 heaped tsp yeast (dried active – I used the one for hand baking)
150g organic wholemeal flour
300g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbs oil – olive / rapeseed / hemp etc.
Pour the water into bowl, add the yeast and swirl until it is dissolved. Add the other ingredients.
Knead with the dough hook attachment of your mixer on the lowest speed for about 4 minutes until a smooth stretchy dough has formed (if you knead by hand it will take longer).
Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for a few hours. It should more than double in size.
In the morning turn out onto a floured board and gently knock the dough back. Divide the dough into 3 and roll into sausages about 12″ / 30cm long. Place a silicon mat on a baking tray, line the dough sausages up and plait, tucking the ends under. Cover with a sheet of oiled cling film. Leave somewhere warm until doubled in size again.
Place in a preheated oven at GM7 / 220C / 425F and bake for about 30 minutes. For a crustier loaf place a small dish of water in the oven under the loaf.
When it is done it will sound hollow when tapped. It always takes longer to bake than you think it will, so my general rule of thumb is that if you are unsure give it another 5 mins.
Last month’s challenge was for a multi flour seeded loaf.
To participate each month all you need to do is:
- Visit purely food or utterly scrummy food for families to see who is guest hosting and who is publishing the round up
- Visit the guest hosts blog to find the monthly challenge recipe
- Have a go at baking this months bread and blog about it (at any time during the month but on the 28th at the latest)
- Mention fresh from the oven in your post and include a link to this page and to Claire and Michelle who run Fresh From the Oven
- Please email a photo (saved as a jpg, no bigger than 500px x 500px ) and a link to your post to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by midnight (GMT) 28th of the month to have your post included in the monthly round up.
- If you do not have a blog but still want to take part, email us a photo of your bread and you will be included in the round up.
- If you are on twitter, please use the hash tag #freshfromoven to tweet about the challenge.
- Check back here at the end of the month to see the round up of all that months entries.