Winter is here!! I can't tell you how happy this makes me! Finally some cold weather to warrant the cosy knitwear I am longing to wear. Time to light the fires and snuggle down.
Weather like this needs good food - comforting, home cooked and generous so this weekend I will share some fabulous recipes to keep out the chills and warm the cockles.
Baking is a wonderful thing to do on a cold weekend day, this bread is simple but incredibly delicious. It is best eaten the day it is made, but it's so quick to make you can start it now and be eating straight from the oven bread for breakfast in a matter of a couple of hours. Or if you prefer, make this bread the evening before and let it rise in the fridge overnight. you can then shape and bake it in the morning!
When I see beautiful shining golden tresse (also called a zopf in Austria) in a boulanagerie I just cant resist buying them. Something about the way they pull apart along the lines of the plait is so satisfying. They are crying out to be dunked into really good hot chocolate (pxx) or smothered in butter and honey before a big day on the mountain.
Makes 2 plaits
15g fresh yeast or 7g sachet dried fast action yeast
240ml warm full fat milk
500g plain flour
8g fine salt
60g unsalted butter, melted
1 free range egg, beaten to glaze
Mix the yeast with 50ml of the warm milk and set aside. Place the flour and salt in ta bowl, add the egg, honey, butter, the rest of the milk and the yeast mixture. Mix until you have a soft dough then turn out onto a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic.
Put back into a clean bowl and cover with lightly greased cling film and leave in a warm place to double in size, this might take a couple of hours.
Divide into two and then split each half of dough into three even pieces. Roll out three of the pieces and pinch the tops together then plait the dough all the way down and press the bottoms together. Transfer to a greased baking sheet and repeat with the other half of dough.
Cover with the cling flim again and leave to prove for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 180c. fan 160c. Brush the loafs with the egg and bake for 30 minutes until golden. Allow to cool a little then serve.