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.
Plaited or Braided Loaf Bread
- 300 ml warm water
- 1 heaped tsp yeast, dried active – I used the one for hand baking
- 150 g organic wholemeal flour
- 300 g 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.