Tuesday, 28 August 2012

GBBO Week Two - 8 Strand Plaited Loaf

So week two was bread week - to me this seems a little early for bread, but maybe it is the same as previous series! I really enjoyed watching the Bagels and didn't know that they are poached before baking.  Some of the flat breads were inspired and I am going to have to try my hand at the Oat Cakes that are in the GBBO Third Book - as PB is from Staffordshire, he has a soft spot for oat cakes, I'll have to make sure they are good!  I shall report back once I am accomplished in oat cake baking.  Flat-breads and bagels aside, it was the technical challenge that I just had to have a go at - the 8 strand plaited loaf!

So on Sunday morning I gathered all the ingredients I needed and read through the recipe very carefully as I haven't really made bread before! I was rather amazed at the very few ingredients needed - although missed my digital scales when trying to measure out 10g of salt (I decided to go with a level teaspoon).  After mixing all the ingredients together, the first 'waiting' hour had to begin - thankfully we hadn't had breakfast yet, so I had something to keep me occupied.  When I went back to my bowl, the dough had magically doubled in size (I may have done a little happy dance!).
Then came the technical bit, splitting the dough into 8 equal bits and rolling into strands or tentacles.  My first try at the plaiting was a mess, only the middle strands seemed to be doing anything - so I quickly undid everything and started again! I would have taken a picture, but the dough was beginning to stick to each other and I didn't want to have to roll everything out again.  Reading each step out loud seemed to do the trick and after a few minutes I had a plaited loaf!  Then another hour of waiting - this time I did a spot of gardening to pass the time.

After an hour, I glazed the top of the loaf with an egg wash and popped in a warm oven to bake - the smell was scrumptious! It needed a little longer than the 20-25 minutes stated, but then I had reduced the temperature as it was a fan assisted oven, so maybe that was why.  I was rather pleased with my loaf and maybe another little happy bread dance was partaken in!

I think that bread will become a regular feature in my baking - the time needed is very much worth the results - never before I have looked forward to eating my sandwiches as much!


  1. It looks great, but now I have a craving for fresh bread! Can't wait for the new kitchen to arrive next week so I can do some baking. Think I need to get this recipe book too......

  2. I'd highly recommend it and Paul Hollywood's new book too - think they are both around the £8 in Tesco! Enjoy your new kitchen :)