15 April 2013

Easter baking

Once again Easter was upon us, the family were going to visit and I baked kozunak.


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.

IMG_2882 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.

IMG_2884 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.

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