How to plait bread with 3 strands

In this video tutorial I show you how to plait bread with 3 strands. It is a lot easier to watch my hands rather than listening to what I’m saying in this video because it makes a lot more sense to watch.  I usually bake bread recipes the night before, if I want them for breakfast. I make the recipe until just before the second rise time, shape it and put it in the fridge.

Never let it rise the second time if you want to put it in the fridge, it will flop and it will not rise again properly, trust me, I learnt the hard way. The next morning remove from the fridge and let it rise until doubled before baking.

Ingredients

  • 600 grams Strong White Bread Flour
  • 25 grams butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 sachet easy bake yeast (7 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 350 ml lukewarm water

to decorate

  • 1 medium egg
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • pinch of  salt
  • poppy seeds

Method

  • Put the flour in a bowl, add the butter and rub with your fingers until well rubbed in
  • Add the yeast, sugar and salt and stir to mix together
  • Add the water and two tablespoons vegetable oil and mix with a wooden spoon first and when most of the water has soaked into the flour, use your hands to mix it into a dough and knead briefly.
  •  Turn it out onto an oiled, not floured, work surface and knead with your hands for about 10 minutes until smooth.
  • Put the dough ball back into the bowl, you can brush the bowl with vegetable oil,  first and cover with cling film, leave it in a warm place and let it rise until double in size, it can take about 1-2 hours. The speed at which it rises depends on the warmth of the place it is in.
  • Put the dough onto a work surface and knead it for a minute and divide the dough into 3 equal pieces.
    You can weigh on the scale to be precise.
  • Put some flour on your work surface and then get one piece of your dough on it and roll out your dough into a thick ‘rope’ shape. Repeat the process with the other two pieces.
  • Put the three strands on your work surface while evenly spaced. Put the two outer pieces on top of the middle strand and pinch them together to join them together.
  • Start plaiting your bread using the three strands (watch video for help). When you reach the end and cannot plait the bread, tuck the ends under the loaf. Put the bread on a baking tray big enough for your bread. I used a Swiss roll tin (about 32cm x 22cm x 2.5cm )
  • Cover it lightly with lightly oiled cling film and let it rise until doubled in size, it will take a shorter time, about 40 minutes.
  • 5-10 minutes before it is ready, preheat your oven to 180 – 200 Celsius
  • When the dough has doubled in size brush with the egg andmilk mixture and bake immediately or sprinkle with poppy seeds or any other seed
  • Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes.  You test to see if it is ready by knocking or tapping the bottom of the 3 plait bread.  If it sounds hollow it is ready.  If the bottom is too soft and does not sound hollow put it back in the oven for a few more minutes
  • Remove from the oven and remove from the cake tray and put it on a cooling rack to cool completely or serve warm if you like it warm.
  • NEVER MISS A TIP

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