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Bread: Poppy Seed 4 Strand Plait

May 21, 2013

I’ve mentioned before that bread is a bit of a challenge for me, but that’s what this blog is partly about – making me stretch myself. And so it is that I find myself googling yeast conversions, looking at kneading techniques and watching bread-braiding videos.

Poppy seed 4 strand plaited loaf

Wonky braiding

Mr B who is, I think it’s fair to say, a lover of bread, tells me that this was “a very good one”. He disagrees with my complaints – namely that I can always detect a slight uncooked yeasty note in my home made loaves and feel that the texture is a little too tight. I do agree that this is a definite improvement on previous attempts. I felt quite smug about my plaiting skills before leaving  it t rise, but I didn’t seal the ends tight enough, so one strand came a bit loose which meant it ended up a bit lop sided. It’s a little over browned, but tasted fine.

Poppy seed plaited loaf

Is that crumb too tight?

Poppy Seed Plait
from Rose Elliot’s Book of Breads

1 sachet quick yeast (which is what I used)
400ml warm milk
700g strong white flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
50g butter
1 egg for glazing
poppy seeds

Put the flour into a large bowl.
On one side of the bowl put add the salt, on the other add the sugar and yeast.
Rub the butter in, then add the wam milk.
Knead for 10 mins, cover the bowl with a damp teatowel and leave to rise until doubled in size. Around 1 hour in a warm place (though Paul Hollywood reckons that it’s better to let it rise slower in a normal heat place)
Knock back, knead a very little bit and split into four strands.

Now to plait it:
4th strand over 2nd
Twist 2nd and 3rd
1st strand over 3rd
Twist  2nd and 3rd.
Repeat

Leave to prove for about 30mins – it should be puffy now.
Preheat your oven to 230c / 450f
Beat the egg and brush all over to glaze. Sprinkle the poppy seeds over it.
Bake for 35mins

Note: You could also use 25g fresh yeast or 15g dried yeast + 1/2tsp sugar. If doing so, blend the yeast into the milk first. For dried yeast add the sugar as well and leave for 15mins until frothy.

This is my entry into the Random Recipe Challenge, run by Dom over at Belleau Kitchen. The theme is bread so I put the number of pages in Rose Elliot’s Book of Breads into the random number generator and this is what it came out with.

I am also entering it into Yeast Spotting link up, Bake Your Own Bread and the Baked themed Breakfast Club hosted by Feeding Boys and a Firefighter  and run by Fuss Free Flavours

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. belleaukitchen permalink
    May 21, 2013 10:24 am

    This is the ultimate kind of loaf for me. Your plaiting looks perfect and the soft crumb looks adorably tasty. Just want to rip right into it! Thanks for entering this month xx

  2. May 27, 2013 3:33 pm

    You’re braver than me attempting this – it looks fab!!! I would definitely love a chunky slice of this slathered in butter and jam for my breakfast. Thanks for linking up with Breakfast Club 🙂

  3. May 28, 2013 5:09 pm

    that bread looks great – I must say that I cheat & make my bread dough in the breadmaker, I really do need to try it by hand though

  4. May 31, 2013 1:11 pm

    Can never resist a loaf covered in poppy seed. This looks beautiful. Nothing wrong with the plaiting. it is home made after all.

  5. June 3, 2013 5:09 pm

    Gill, that is fab! very well done, I have not tried a plaited loaf for ages!

    Thanks so much for sending to Breakfast Club, next month’s challenge is open http://tangolikeraindrop.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/breakfast-club-june-high-fibre.html and the theme is high fibre.

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