Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread

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Bread is the recipe most often baked here at home. Aside from the infinitely better quality of a home baked loaf, the flavour is superior in every way to its mass produced, plastic wrapped, shop bought counterpart. And, a variety of different flours are available to the home baker. While spelt flour produces a light, wholegrain loaf that is nutty and delicious to eat. I thoroughly recommend my Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread.

FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread.

While this loaf is 100% wholegrain, it lacks the heaviness of a wholemeal wheat grain bread. Yet it loses none of the delicious, hearty, wholegrain flavour. Also quicker to make, in the kneading and dough proving stages, than a regular loaf. This is the loaf to make when you haven’t got all day to linger over making bread and yet, nothing about it feels rushed. Resulting in the same feeling of relaxation and accomplishment one feels from baking any bread at home.

FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread Sliced.

The Benefits Of Home Baked Bread

Spelt is an ancient grain that can prove tricky to grow. Craggs & Co grow spelt here in the U.K. where it is also milled. Initially grown by request from a chef, they now sell both wholegrain and white spelt flour online, or it can be ordered and collected directly from the farm. Due to its claimed health benefits, it is becoming more popular with bakers.

FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread.

While I don’t have independent evidence to corroborate the health claims from eating spelt, as opposed to wheat, I can give my opinion. Eating any wholegrain flour is always going to be better for our bodies due to the fibre content. Helping to keep our digestive system healthy. Finally, personaly I found the bread to be lighter on my stomach and more quickly digested than wholemeal bread, it did not lay heavy on my stomach, at all.

Recipe: Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread

325ml Water at room temperature

5g Dried Yeast – I use Allinson Flour

1tsp Clear Honey

500g Wholegrain Spelt Flour – I used Craggs & Co

25g/1oz Unsalted Butter

7g Sea Salt – I use Maldon

3-4 tbsp Mixed Seeds

Method:

Initial mixing of the dough is carried out using a stand mixer with dough hook attachment. While mixing by hand is possible, the dough is very wet and sticky to start with. Should you wish you start your dough by hand please see here for step by step instructions, remembering to follow this recipe!

Making The Spelt Dough

  • Into the bowl of a stand mixer weigh 325g of room temperature water. 1g = 1ml water.
  • Next add the yeast and honey.
  • Add the flour on top, so that it entirely covers the water, yeast and honey.
  • On top of the flour add the sea salt and butter.
  • With the dough hook attached, mix on a low speed until the dough forms a smooth ball. At this point you can stop the mixer, remove the dough and continue to knead by hand until it passes the windowpane test*, see below.
  • Continue to mix on a medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, 6-10 minutes. Stop the mixer, lift the dough hook and pull at the dough. As soon as the dough can be stretched thin enough so that light can be seen through it, it passes the windowpane test*.
  • Scrape the dough from the hook into the bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove at room temperature until doubled in size. 45-60 minutes.
  • While the dough is proving lightly grease a large baking tray with butter.

Creating A Plaited Loaf

  • When doubled in size, scrape out the dough on to a very lightly floured worktop. Ensuring the top of the dough in the bowl, now becomes the bottom and is in contact with the worktop.
  • Next it is important to create tension in the dough. Pull one side out and press diagonally across to the opposite side. Repeat, turning the dough after each pull and tuck, shaping the dough into a rough log as you do so. The dough should look like the picture below, without any sticky dough present.
FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
The proved dough ready to be divided into three for plaiting.

Plaiting The Dough

  • Weigh the dough and then divide the weight by 3.
  • Cut the dough into 3 equal sized pieces.
  • Roll out each piece until it measures 35cm/14″.
  • These will be numbered 1, 2 and 3 from left to right.
  • Place 3 on top of 1 and press together to secure.
  • Next place 2 on top of 3 and again press to secure. You are now ready to start plaiting the bread. Note, each time a dough strand is moved, ensure that the plait  is tight. If the plait is too loose it will be difficult to transfer to the greased baking tray. Also the plait definition may become lost during the second prove and baking.
  • Each strand will have a new number when moved. The middle will always be 2, left 1 and right 3. The pattern is 3 over 2 then 1 over 2. Otherwise known as right over middle, left over middle.
  • To start plaiting place 3 over 2. Moving 2 to the right as it becomes 3.
  • Next 1 over 2. Moving 2 to the left as it becomes 1.
  • Continue until the plait is complete.
FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Showing the plaiting process.
  • Gently tuck and press the ends together, in the same pattern, at the bottom of the plait.
  • Place the plaited bread diagonally on to a baking tray. Use both hands to support the plait as it is moved.

Proofing The Plaited Dough

FF Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
The completed bread plait.
  • Brush the plait lightly with room temperature water and then sprinkle over the mixed seeds.
FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread ready for its second prove.
  • Cover with a clean tea towel and leave until doubled in size, 30-40 minutes.
  • While the dough is having its second prove preheat the oven to 240C/220C fan, gas mark 9.
FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread ready for the oven

Baking The Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread

  • Just prior to placing your bread on the oven, add a small pan with 1cm water to the bottom of the oven. This will help the crust expand before it sets and hardens.
  • Once doubled in size remove the tea towel and place the bread into the centre of the oven.
  • Bake at the hottest temperature for 5 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7. Allow to bake for a further 30-35 minutes.
  • The bread is baked when it is a deep golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
  • When baked remove the bread from the oven and immediately transfer to a cooling rack.
FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread

Such a beautiful loaf. Tempted though you may be, leave the bread to cool completely before slicing. Doing so allows the bread to slice properly and cooling bread is also better for digestion.

FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Sliced Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread.

Serving And Storing The Spelt Bread

Slice and serve the bread as you would any other loaf. Accompanying soup, a hearty Spicy Sausage Bean Casserole, or as toast and sandwiches.

Double wrap in cling film and freeze for one month. Allow to defrost at room temperature, place in a moderately hot oven for 5 minutes and it will taste freshly baked.

To store, place in a bread bin or wrapped in baking parchment. Eat within 4 days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread then you may also enjoy these:

Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Easy Homemade Cottage Loaf

Seeded Cob Loaf

FF Plaited Seeded Top Wholegrain Spelt Bread
Seeded Cob Loaf

Baking bread at home is a deliciously rewarding experience. Even if you live close to a great bakery, the aroma of home baked bread only comes from making your own. Recipes can be tweaked for those with dietary restrictions. For example, leaving the seeds off of this loaf still results in an amazingly light, healthy, wholegrain bread. Your adaptations make each loaf baked suitable for sharing.

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the express written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread

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If you are a frequent visitor to this blog, you will know how much I enjoy making bread. While I am very happy to let kitchen appliances carry out the hard work, indeed for this loaf they are necessary, shaping the dough is always fun to do by hand. Since I first tried an eight strand plaited loaf last year, I have become hooked on intertwining lengths of dough and observing the final, baked result. This Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread is delicious and easy to make.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread a delicious breakfast.

Having re-tested the recipe and technique I have full confidence that you too can make this delicious bread. Even if you have never plaited before, the step by step photographs will show you how. Such a small amount of extra effort and you will be rewarded with a stunning loaf. While the smell of cinnamon dough, baking, will have you counting the minutes until your first slice!

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread golden and bronzed with a hidden inner.

How Ingredients Affect The Final Bake

When baking, it always pays to use the very best ingredients available. However, not everyone’s budget can stretch to premium ingredients. If you can make one change here, I strongly recommend using free range, or organic eggs. Their golden yolks are what help give this loaf its amazing colour. Both in the bread itself and the egg wash, brushed on before baking. Resulting in both the golden and bronzed baked crust.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread beautiful inside and out.

Serving this bread, sliced for breakfast or as an afternoon treat with a hot drink, is sure to brighten anyone’s day. Since it is a large loaf, why not take it to work, pre-sliced and share with your colleagues? Since all food tastes better when it is shared, that is the only way to improve this bread. Simply by sharing it.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread simply delicious.

Recipe: Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread 

300mls Whole Milk

2 Large Free Range Eggs

1tsp Caster Sugar

10g Dried Yeast – I use Allinson in the green tub or sachets

600g/1lb 5oz Strong White Bread Flour – I use Shipton Mill

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter

10g Salt – I use Maldon

For the cinnamon filling:

75g/3oz Light Muscavado Sugar – I use Billington’s

4tsp Cinnamon

1 free range egg plus 1tbsp milk to brush over the loaf.

Method:

The method given for making this Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread uses a dough hook fitted to a stand mixer. The enriched dough is very, very sticky, prior to its first prove. Using a stand mixer ensures that the dough is kneaded properly. Resulting in a light textured crumb once baked.

Making The Brioche Bread Dough

  • First of all ensure that your kitchen is warm. It will really benefit the yeast, during the dough making process.
  • Measure the milk into a jug and warm in a microwave for 20 seconds. Ideally the milk should be body temperature 37C. However, do not overheat as it may kill the yeast.
  • Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Crack 2 eggs into the jug and add these to the milk in the bowl. I always break eggs into a separate container first. If any shell escapes it can then be removed and also, extremely occasionally, should an egg be bad, it will not spoil the whole recipe.
  • Next add the sugar and yeast. Swish the liquid about with clean fingers to break up the eggs and mix lightly.
  • On top of the liquid mix add the flour.
  • Now add the butter and salt.
  • Lower the dough hook into the bowl and mix on the slowest speed for 5 minutes. Then, gradually increase the speed to medium and mix for a further 5 minutes.
  • After the mixing time has elapsed stop the mixer.

The Windowpane Test

  • Remove a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. The dough is kneaded when it can be stretched so thinly that light can be seen through it. This is called the windowpane test.
  • If the dough tears before it can be fully stretched, lower the dough hook and continue mixing, checking every 3 minutes, until it passes the windowpane test.
  • Once the dough passes the windowpane test it is ready to prove. Scrape the dough from the dough hook and allow to drop into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and place somewhere warm and drought free.
  • Allow the dough to prove until doubled in size – approximately 1 hour.
  • While the dough is proving grease a large baking tray with butter. Also, into a small bowl, weigh out the sugar and add the cinnamon. Stir to mix and break up any large sugar lumps using your fingers. Set to one side.

Shaping The Dough And Adding The Cinnamon Mix

  • Once doubled in size turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Use your hand, or a dough scraper to remove all of the dough.
  • Shape the dough into a round and then weigh it. I use digital scales, placing the dough on to a piece of baking parchment. Make a note of the weight of the dough. Now divide that figure in 3.
  • Cut the dough into 3 pieces that are equal in weight.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a length and then flatten, using your hands or a rolling pin. Each flattened length of dough should measure 50cm/20″.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Preparing three dough strands for the cinnamon/sugar filling.
  • Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture down the middle of each piece of dough. Dividing it equally between three strands.
  • Dab a little tap water down the right side of the first strip of dough. Now bring the left side over and pinch to secure the sides together. Similar to making a sausage roll.
  • Continue until all three lengths of dough have their filling securely encased.
  • Roll each length of dough so that the join is underneath and not visible.
  • Join all three lengths of dough at the top. Place on top of each other and pinch together to secure.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Filling, securing and attaching the top of the plait.

Plaiting The Cinnamon Brioche Bread

  • Starting from left to right, number the strands 1, 2 and 3. Number 1 strand will always be to the left, 2 in the middle and 3 on the right.
  • Pass strand 1 over strand 2.
  • Now pass strand 3 over strand 2. Ensure the strands are not pulled tight and there should be no gaps.
  • Repeat the past two steps until the plait is finished. (Strand 1 over 2, then strand 3 over strand 2 and repeat.)
  • Pinch the bottom 3 strands together so that they are secure and look tidy.
  • Lift the plait using both hands at either end and place diagonally on to the greased baking tray.
  • Cover with a clean tea towel and leave, as before, in a draught free place.
  • While the plaited dough is proving preheat the oven to 240C/220C gas mark 9, 475F. Break an egg into a bowl, add the tablespoon of milk and whisk with a fork to mix.
  • Once the plaited dough has doubled in size use a soft pastry brush and carefully brush the egg wash over.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Plaiting and placing the brioche on to a baking tray before the egg wash.

Baking The Cinnamon Plait

  • Place the egg washed Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7, 425F. Continue to bake for a further 15-20 minutes.
  • The bread is baked when a deep, golden crust has formed and the base sounds hollow, when rapped with a knuckle.
  • Once baked remove the bread from the oven.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Beautifully baked Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread.
  • Slide a pallet knife under the baked bread, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.
FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread cooled and sliced, revealing the hidden centre of each strand.

Allow the loaf to cool to body temperature before slicing. Attempting to slice while the bread is still hot will compact the bread. Also eating freshly baked, hot bread, is not good for our digestion!

Serve sliced with a smile and a complimenting drink.

FF Cinnamon Plaited Braided Brioche Bread

Placed in a bread bin, or wrapped loosely in foil, once fully cooled, this loaf will last up to three days. It can be toasted, although I’d advise not to use a toaster due to the sugar present. Under a grill, or even better, in front of a log fire, this bread makes excellent toast!

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread you may also like these:

Large White Bloomer

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Large White Bloomer

Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

FF Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread
Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Homemade bread is the most luxurious food, for me, to bake. Enticing smells as it is baking, make our house feel like a home. Appreciative comments when a fresh loaf is on the table, to be served with dinner, or for breakfast, make me smile. Not for the accolade, or indeed achievement, from others, of having made my own loaf. Simply the fact that I am giving my family, delicious, additive free, tasty bread, is enough to keep me baking.

So, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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