Tuesday, 10 January 2012

4 Plait Braided White Bread

Today I tackled bread making. I have not always been that confident at making bread, and when I did make it the last time the loaf turned out hard and didn't rise. So you can understand why I don't really delve very much into the world of bread making. But today I felt optimistic and thought I would give it a go. I searched for a basic bread recipe and found one on the Good Food Channel. So I began, combining all the ingredients together and of course it turned out be be a big sticky mess and as much as I avoided getting my hands too messy I realised that there would be no other way; I don't have a bread maker or a food processor to do all the work for me so I didn't have any other option. My favourite part is the kneading, I can see how it can be quite soothing when you're feeling frustrated or angry, as you can put all this energy into the bread making. You actually need to kneed it for quite a while and you can't be too gentle; I swear my arms got a good work out. It's so satisfying when the bread actually rises as you know that you've done something right at least. I didn't want to make an ordinary loaf as you can buy that from the shops, so I decided to make something a little bit more special and pretty: braided bread. There is a bread called 'Challah' which is braided and contains egg, it's traditionally eaten by Jews on the Sabbath. Whilst my bread wasn't a Challah recipe I still wanted it to look like one, so I learnt how to braid it on youtube. Did you know that you can make breads from a number of strands (e.g.3,4,5 and 6) each resulting in a different pattern? One day I will make all the different ones and see which one I like the best. But for now I decided to go with the 4 stranded, simply because it's an even number which sounds good. If you don't want this extra hassle of braiding, just put the dough in a loaf tin and allow it to rise. So I've finished the hard bit which is mixing, kneading and waiting for the dough to rise, and now I'm finally ready to bake it, I'll let you know how it turns out when it's done.

It's in the oven...



Oooo it's turning golden in colour...

Still baking...

Smells good, mmmm...


Have a look, what do you think?

Check out the crust, soo glossy!

 Look inside- light and airy!

Verdict: It seems to have worked! Now I have bread to make butties :-)

Makes: 1 large loaf
Preparation time: 5 hrs


500g strong white bread flour
300ml warm water
2 tbsp olive/vegetable oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
a 7g sachet of dried yeast
1 beaten egg

1. In a bowl mix the flour, salt, and yeast till well combined.

2. In another bowl mix the water, oil, and sugar together till all the sugar dissolves.

3. Slowly add the water mixture into the flour and mix with a wooden spoon (or use a food processor to mix).

4. The dough should start to come together. You'll need to use your hands at this point to bring the dough together and then knead the dough (use the palms of your hands and turn the dough whilst you knead it)  for 10 mins.

5. Put the dough in an oiled container and place a wet kitchen cloth or an oiled piece of cling film on top. Leave to rest for around 2 hrs in a warm place till the dough doubles in size.

6. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and punch the air out, and knead for 2 mins.

7. Mould the dough to what ever shape you like; put in a loaf tin, make rolls, or braid. Loosely cover with clingfilm and leave to rest in a warm place for around 1-2 hrs till the dough rises/ doubles in size.Use a pastry brush to glaze the dough with egg wash.
8. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C for 25-40 mins (the time really varies with the type of oven used and the size of the loaf) till the loaf sounds hollow and is browned on the surface, if the loaf looks like it's burning on the top place some foil over it whilst baking. You can also turn the bread over (without the tin) for the last 5 mins so that the base also becomes cooked.
To confirm that the bread is done you can also use a meat thermometer through the base of the bread which should have a core temperature of 94C (200F).

9. Leave the bread to cool on a wire cooling rack or eat whilst it's nice and warm.

The Good Food Channel

A post from the Fullest of Life


  1. Hi, just wanted to let you know that I've passed on a blog award to you over at my blog. I've used one of the beautiful photo's of your tarts, hope thats ok!! Happy New Year x

  2. I just found you blog and I love it! I m a happy follower now!
    Visit me at: my-greek-cooking.blogspot.com

  3. Thankyou soo much Alex! It makes me soo happy to know that people actually like my blog and my pictures, it makes me want to post more :)And as a fellow student I love the ideas on your blog as they are all very do-able!

    Thankyou Elpinki, I checked out your blog and it has lots of interesting recipes which I can't wait to try out, I love Greek food!

    Happy New Year!