Thursday, 26 July 2012

Apricot & Ginger Braided Loaf

This is another one of my fruity breakfast breads. I've made quite a few recently as I'm bored of cereal (and it's expensive) and it is most definitely not porridge season yet! This loaf is similar to a brioche as it is made with butter and milk but no eggs. I made this a couple of weeks ago but couldn't quite get the braided shape right for the photos so I had to bake another one the following week. I also wanted to experiment with the amount of ginger and added more the second time round which was definitely an improvement, even though the first loaf was delicious, I do like a generous amount of ginger. The dough is easy to make, it's the shaping that's the fiddly bit and I still didn't quite get the shape I wanted but the bread tasted so good that I don't mind that much.

Ingredients - makes 1 large loaf

500g strong white bread flour
1 tbsp dried active yeast or 7g sachet fast action yeast
1 tsp salt
75g butter
75g light brown sugar
200g chopped dried apricots
1 tbsp ground ginger
300ml lukewarm milk

  • Reactivate the yeast according to pack instructions if using dried active yeast but use milk instead of water, otherwise skip this step
  •  In a large bowl, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs and then add the salt, sugar, apricots and ginger. Add the yeast and the milk and work into a dough. This is quite a sticky dough but persevere and you will have wonderfully light, soft textured bread at the end. Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic and then place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film and leave for an hour or until doubled in size. 
  • Knock back the dough and knead briefly then divide into 3 equal pieces, weigh them if you want. Roll each piece into a sausage shape about 30cm long and place the 3 pieces of dough on a non stick baking tray leaving a gap between them
  • Choose which end to start at and then press together the ends of the dough pieces and then braid the dough together, at the end of the braid press the ends together to seal. This can be a bit fiddly as the dough sticks together easily but you should end up with something similar to the picture below. Cover with lightly oiled clingfilm and leave to double in size for about 40 minutes.

  • Preheat the oven to 220C and then bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes. If the top starts to colour too much then cover with a piece of foil.
  • Cool on a wire rack and then tear chunks off. The first day or two after baking the bread is soft and fresh enough to enjoy by itself. If you make it last longer than this then it will be a little dry but still delicious and may benefit from a little butter or a dollop of jam.

I've entered this into the Breakfast Club challenge where the theme is holiday and this bread reminds me of brioche I eat on holidays in France I've entered it. The challenge is by run and this month hosted by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and I've also entered into yeast spotting.

1 comment:

  1. Some of my favourite ingredients in there, lovely loaf.


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