As my recipe has been working reliably for a number of years, there was no reason to try something new. Instead I wanted to make the 8-stranded plaited loaf which was one of the technical challenges on the Great British Bake-Off.
However, it appears that my frustration over my new job went straight into the dough, because it was as tough as an old boot. Or perhaps the yeast was old, though I do try to make sure this doesn't happen.
Anyway, after much adjustments with milk and what felt like an eternity of manual kneading, I divided up the dough into 3 equal parts. One of these, I divided further into 8 and rolled out to strands.
Starting by firmly squeezing one end of all the strands together, I started to follow the rather complex instructions and started despairing almost immediately, as the instructions didn't really seem to produce anything remotely plaited and I began to suspect bits of them were missing!
However I persisted and a good thing too, because the result was fabulously pretty. I think. And no instruction steps were missing, you just need to be patient and keep at it.
Some proofing, some egg wash and a generous sprinkle of pearl sugar it was ready to go in the oven.
Not too much rise during the proofing sadly, but baked quite well overall and disappeared quickly as usual when the family gathers. In hindsight, I should have skipped the pearl sugar, so that the plaiting would be more obvious.
And of course I made two rolls with raisins from the other two parts of the dough. That was fairly straight-forward with a hot tip from I can't remember where: soaking the raisins before using them. This way, they won't take away moisture from the dough. I soaked them in water with a tablespoon of dark rum, which worked a treat and the rolls were very tasty indeed.