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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Mixed Fruit and Chocolate Chip Bread Wreath

I decided to take on the 8 strand plaited loaf for the Fresh From The Oven Challenge this month.  All was going rather well until I got my plaiting mixed up and the strands stuck together when I tried to undo it.  I decided that I couldn't face re-weighing and re-rolling the 8 strands.  The bickering children, defeatist hubby and general frustration of our household on Saturday afternoon all got the better of me and my bread making ambitions.  After much muttering under breath and stomping about I decided to make a 3 strand plaited wreath which is perfect for the upcoming festive season.  It is also delicious for breakfast! ;oP

500g strong white bread flour
7g sachet fast action dried yeast
10g table salt
1½ Tblsp oil
2 tsp ground mixed spice
340ml lukewarm water

Additions:
80g pack dark chocolate chips/chunks
2 handfuls mixed dried fruit

I used my stand mixer to make this recipe but you can just as easily make it by hand.  Put the flour in a large bowl. Add the yeast on one side of the bowl and add the salt to the other side.


Measure out the water and oil.  Mix everything together then add the ground mixed spice during the kneading process. 
Either knead the dough in your stand mixer or turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead by hand until the dough looks silky and stretchy.  Whichever method you use this will take 7 - 10 minutes.

I leave the dough to rise in my stand mixer as the bowl has a handy plastic splash guard that seals the bowl, providing the perfect environment to rise dough in.  If you have a similar mixer to me, hurrah, if you don't just oil a mixing bowl and put the dough into it then cover with cling film and set aside to rise, for about an hour, or until the dough doubles in size.

When risen I knock it back in the mixer by kneading on a low speed for a few seconds.  Knead through the chocolate and mixed dried fruit.  Again, if you are making the dough by hand, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knock the dough back before kneading through the chocolate and dried fruit. Shape the dough into a ball.

Divide the into 3 equal pieces then roll out each piece into a long strand about 40cm - 50cm long.



Lay the strands out on a lightly floured surface, securing the 3 strips of dough together at one end then plait until all the dough has been used.  Tuck both ends of the plait together give a tidy finish and complete the wreath.



Put the plaited dough wreath onto a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, cover with greased cling film and leave to prove for another hour, until doubled in size.



Preheat your oven to 200C/Gas Mark 5.  Sprinkle the top of the wreath with fine demerara sugar then bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes.




I am submitting this recipe to the following Cooking Challenges this month:


Hosted this month by Chocolate Log Blog

Hosted this month by Franglais Kitchen


Bake Your Own Bread - Hosted by Heather from Girl Chef and Connie from My Discovery of Bread




4 comments:

  1. Oh, I love this! It is so perfect for the holidays...and I just love seeing the slice studded with beautiful dried fruit (which I can't get enough of). Beautiful. Thanks for adding it to the BYOB basket this month. :)

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  2. Well your wreath looks absolutely fantastic - so much better than an eight stranded plait ;-) IMy mouth is really watering now. Thank you for entering this into WSC and Breakfast Club - a double whammy.

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  3. A beautiful wreath and must have been so fun to make. A great idea for the festive season!

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  4. Your wreath looks so delicious, especially studded with fruit and chocolate!

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