Monday, 18 March 2013

The Famous 8 Plaited Bread

Finally I've attempted Paul Hollywoods 8 breaded plait and yes I now feel the pain that the contestants on Great British Bake off felt with the whole "8 under 5, then under 1".


I have to be fully honest now and say, I fell at the first hurdle of plaiting so decided to bend the rules. (Sorry Paul) I ended up just plaiting it without following the correct method.... rules are for breaking right.  
However, I will write them in below in case any one wants to give them a try. Please let me know if you actually managed to do it.

Ingredients:
  • 500g - Strong White Bread Flour
  • 10g - Salt
  • 2 x 7g Fast Acting Yeast
  • 20ml - Olive Oil
  • 340ml - Water (at room temp)
  • 1- Beaten Egg, mixed with a pinch of salt for glazing
Method:
  • Put the Flour into a mixing bowl then add the Yeast to one side and Salt to the other (as the salt can kill the yeast)
  • Add the Oil and mix
  • Add 3/4 of the Water and bring together with your hands.
  • Work in the rest of the water, then knead the dough 10 for minutes until silky and very stretchy.
  • Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl - cover lightly with cling film and leave to rise for an hour until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the risen dough- empty onto a floured worktop and mould into a ball

  • Divide into 8 equal pieces, using your hands roll each piece into a thin sausage shape           (about 40cm long)
  • Lay strands onto a floured worktop - like an octopus and tack the ends together onto the worktop with your thumb.
  • Number them 1 > 8 and plait following the sequence below:
  • (please note every time you move a strand, the order of the numbers with revert to the original 1>8 sequence) - think this is where I went wrong.

Step 1: Place strand 8 under strand 7 then over strand 1.
Step 2: Strand 8 over strand 5
Step 3: Strand 2 under strand 3 then over strand 8
Step 4: Strand 1 over stand 4
Step 5: Strand 7 under stand 6, then over strand 1
Repeat from step 2 until all strands are plaited.
Then tuck the ends under the loaf to neaten.

  • Set the loaf on a floured baking sheet and leave to rise at room temperature for an hour till doubled in size.
  • Brush with egg and sprinkle with salt, then bake in the oven at 200'C for 20-25minutes, until golden brown.
 Make slices and top with Banana or Cinnamon and Sugar, then put under the grill until caramelised. 

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