Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Plaited Loaf

24 March 2008

Another new attempt using the breadmaker, this time I use it just to make the dough. I followed Happy Homebaker's sweet bun recipe using a breadmaker when she made the Red Bean Braided Bread. Well, I was actually intending to replicate that Red Bean Braided Bread, but I wasn't feeling confident enough to do it, that's why I ended up with a Plaited Loaf.

It is quite hard to do a nice plait due to my inexperience as this is my first time trying to shape a bread. To make a plaited bread, you need to shape 3 pieces of long thin strips with the same length. My problem is by the time I finish rolling the third strip, the first strip has already shrunk by 1/4 of the original length. The dough is very elastic and keep shrinking as I go along. That's why I'm pretty excited to see how nice the plaited loaf looks in the end. :P

I make 2 plaited breads. This is the better looking one.

This is the not so nice looking one. You can see that the end of the bread is not tuck in properly.

Needless to say, it is another great recipe from Happy Homebaker. It still tastes good on the next morning and I definitely want to make more next time.

Using the breadmaker: (I use a slightly different method and note this down)
1. Put all the ingredients (except butter) into the pan and set to "SWEET" and let it knead for 10 minutes.
2. Re-start the machine, set to "SWEET" again, and add in cold butter when the kneading starts.
3. After the kneading is completed (20 minutes), leave it in the machine for proofing. (That's why I set it to "SWEET" as sweet breads take a longer time to rise and I want to ensure sufficient time is given. The machine will punch the dough 2 times during the rising time. )
4. Stop the machine after 1.5 hours when the dough is about double its original size. Remove the dough from bread pan and shape them into 2 plaited breads and placed on a greased baking tray. Cover with a damp towel and leave them to rise for 40 minutes.
5. Brush the top of the bread with some milk and sprinkle some sesame seeds. Bake at 180C for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown.