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Plaited Tea Loaf

Wednesday, 2 October 2013
After making Bara Brith for the Fresh from The Oven Challenge this month I decided to experiment a little more and make a plaited tea loaf with a slightly different flavour.  I soaked the sultanas in ginger and lemon flavoured herbal tea (Twinings) which gave the loaf more depth of flavour.  My 3 daughters and husband have eaten half of the loaf already, I only baked it this afternoon!  The consensus of my resident food critics is that I should bake it again soon because the loaf is delicious and there's not much left.

Plaited Tea Loaf

55g caster sugar
375g strong white bread flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp salt
185ml milk, warmed
1 free range egg, lightly beaten
30g butter, melted
1 sachet dried instant yeast
250g sultanas or other dried fruit
275ml hot strong herbal tea, I used lemon and ginger tea
30ml/2 Tblsp warmed honey, to glaze

Combine the flour, mixed spice, salt and caster sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add the milk, egg, butter and yeast then stir to combine. Once a dough forms, turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 - 15 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Alternatively, knead the dough in a stand mixer for 7 - 10 minutes.  Put the dough in a lightly greased large bowl and cover with clingfilm.  Set aside in a warm draught-free place for 1 hour or until the dough doubles in size.

Preheat your oven to 190C.  Lightly grease an oven tray or line with non-stick baking paper.  Add the sultanas or other dried fruit to the dough and knead until the fruit is well distributed within the dough and the dough once again feels smooth and elastic.

Divide the dough into 3 even portions.  Roll each portion into a 40cm-long log.  Put the dough logs side by side on the prepared oven tray and plait.  Turn the ends slightly under the loaf to ensure it looks tidy.  Cover the plaited dough in lightly greased clingfilm and set aside for another 30 minutes to rise.  Bake the loaf in your preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes on the tray before transferring to a wire rack.  Brush with the warmed honey then leave to cool completely.  Slice and serve with a well earned cuppa.

I'm entering this loaf in to Tea Time Treats for October, hosted by Kate, where the theme is bread.  


  1. That looks fab Michelle, imagine that was lush with some butter:-)

    1. It was indeed Camilla. I've made another couple since then too, great for gifts when popping over to a friend for a cuppa :)

  2. Lovely! And a brilliant idea to soak the sultanas in that great sounding refreshing tea to increase the depth of flavour. Thank you for entering TTT!


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