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 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.