I made this bread a few days ago and thought the plaiting was fairly easy. I was and still am not good at any handwork or sewing and was struggling with the 3 strips of dough and that brought back fond memories of my mum. I had waist length hair when I was little and every morning she would plait my hair into 2 pigtails while I sat munching my bread before I got on the school bus. I didn't have to do that for my 2 girls because both of them had short crops and perhaps that explains why I never had the experience of plaiting!
Knead the flour till the dough doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl. Mix in the fruits.
Dough before proofing and dough after proofing for about an hour or so.
Lay the 3 stips of dough side by side. Gather the ends of the strips together and plait into a braid.
Braid before proofing and after proofing.
This soft, sweet nutty bread is yummy especially when it's just out from the oven. It's even more flavourful when you accompany it with a nice cup of hot tea or black coffee!
- 300 gm high protein flour
- 25 gm caster sugar
- 1/4 flat tsp salt
- 1 flat tsp yeast
- 170 ml milk
- 45 gm butter/margarine (cut to small pieces)
- 20 gm sultanas
- 20 gm cranberries
- 20 gm toasted walnuts, chopped
- some almond flakes for topping
- 1 egg yolk + 1 Tbsp water + a tinge of salt for glaze
- Mix sifted flour, sugar, salt and yeast with the dough hook on slow speed.
- Slowly add in milk, mix for a second, then add in the butter.
- Beat till the dough is smooth and leave the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Add in the dried fruits and nuts. Remove the dough hook.
- Cover the mixing bowl with a damp cloth, set to prove for an hour in a warm place or till double in bulk.
- Remove dough from mixing bowl onto a lightly floured work top. Knock out some air from the dough.
- Knead lightly, divide into 3 equal portions.
- Roll each portion into a strip about 11 inches long. Lay them side by side, gather the ends of the strips together and plait into a braid.
- Pinch the ends and tuck in neatly.
- Leave on a paper lined tray, cover with a damp cloth, let rise for another 40 mins. or till double in size.
- Brush with egg glaze, sprinkle with almond flakes.
- Bake in preheated oven @ 180 deg C for about 20 - 25 mins or till golden brown.
- Cool on wire rack.