Nothing better than a freshly baked plaited bread with your brunch or drink. With its crispy crust and soft inside, it almost screams to be lavishly smeared with creamy butter, a salty tapenade or spicy salsa. I made the party even bigger, because this plaited bread is packed with sun-dried tomatoes (although…
Nothing better than a freshly baked plaited bread with your brunch or drink. With its crispy crust and soft inside, it almost screams to be lavishly smeared with creamy butter, a salty tapenade or spicy salsa.
I made the party even bigger, because this plaited bread is packed with sun-dried tomatoes (although I always doubt how much the sun has had to do with them, but that aside) and fresh Italian herbs like thyme, oregano, sage and rosemary. In the supermarket you have those trays that contain them all together. Very handy, because that is exactly enough for a whole loaf of bread.
You knead all those delicious flavors through your dough after the first rise and then you start braiding. For those who can’t braid, I’ve included a link to an explanation in the recipe, so don’t let that stop you from making this braid bread. It’s not complicated either, you just need some time, because the plaited bread has to rise well. But that’s probably all right.
Have you got the taste after this? Try this ‘no knead bread’ with rosemary and garlic.
Rising + Oven 2 o’clock 15 min
Mix 100 ml of lukewarm water, the contents of the sachet of yeast and the 2 tsp of sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and let stand for minutes.
Then sprinkle in the 450 gr flour and also add the remaining 125 ml lukewarm water, the milk and the salt. Knead for about 8-10 minutes until you have a smooth dough. Halfway through the kneading time, mix in the 25 g butter in small cubes one by one while the machine is running.
Remove the dough from the bowl, knead a few more times by hand and shape it into a ball. Lightly grease your bowl with olive oil, put the bulb back in, cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Tip: Is it cold in your house? Then put the bowl in the oven. Use the drive mode if you have one. If not, preheat the oven to 40 degrees and then turn it off immediately. Now you can place the covered bowl in the oven, the internal temperature of approximately 35 – 38 degrees will allow your dough to rise nicely.
Meanwhile, drain the 180 gr sun-dried tomatoes and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Also zip all leaves and needles from the twigs from the container of Italian herbs. Then chop the sun-dried tomatoes and herbs completely fine and mix in a container.
Remove the ball from the bowl and knock the air out of the dough. Then form a flat disk by stretching it with your hands, you can also use a rolling pin for it. Spoon the filling of the tomatoes and herbs on one side of the dough and fold over the other side of the dough. Stretch the dough a few times and then fold it in half again while turning the dough a quarter turn. Then dust your work surface with flour and knead the dough so that the filling is evenly distributed. At first it seems like a mess, but it will be fine. Feel free to dust with extra flour, but not too much.
Then divide the dough into 3 equal parts and roll them out with your hands into bars of about 35 – 40 cm long. Place them vertically in front of you and braid them.
Place the braid on a baking tray lined with baking paper and fold the ends slightly under the dough. Cover with a cloth and let rise for another 30-45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degrees (lower and upper heat).
Brush your plaited bread with beaten egg and sprinkle very lightly with Fleur de Sel. Then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Check whether it is done by tapping the bottom (but be careful, your bread is hot). If it sounds hollow, then you’re in the right place and your braided bread can be removed.
Let cool slightly on a rack and then serve lukewarm. For example with unsalted butter or tapenade.
- With this recipe you can make a braided bread for a drink or brunch that can serve at least 6-8 people.
- You can collect the olive oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes, strain it and store it in a jar. You can bake in it, use it as a base for a dressing or serve it as a dip for the plaited bread.
- The plaited bread tastes best the day it is baked. If you want to make the bread a day earlier, pop it in the oven just before serving. First moisten the outside with water and then place in the oven at 200 degrees for 5 minutes.
- Preparation: 40 minutes
- Rising: 1 hour and 45 minutes
- Oven: 30 minutes
Recipe: Francesca, Photos: DeedyLicious