For some unknown reason, I was awake early this morning (on my day off, of all days!) Decided to experiment with another traditional Jewish bread recipe. I found the recipe for this Cholla loaf in Paul Hollywood's 'How to Bake' book.
500g strong white bread flour
25g caster sugar
30g butter, softened
2 medium eggs
1. Put the flour in a mixing bowl. Add the salt and sugar to one side and the yeast to the other. Add the butter, eggs, milk and half the water. Using your fingers, turn the mixture around in the bowl. Continue to add water until you have a soft, but not sloppy, dough.
2. Lightly flour the work surface and knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. Knead until the dough is soft and smooth. Oil a large bowl and leave to rise, until it's doubled in size, for up to 3 hours.
3. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knock back. Divide into 3 pieces and roll into long sausage shaped strands. Join the 3 pieces together at one end, ready to plait. Start with the piece on the right and lift over the middle piece, then lift the left over the middle, then the right over the middle, then the left over the middle and so on until you reach the end. Squeeze the end of the plait to create a neat finish.
4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Transfer the plait to the tray and leave to prove again for about an hour.
5. Preheat the oven to 180. Brush the plait with beaten egg. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The loaf colours quickly because of the sugar and egg, so keep an eye on it. (I wrapped some foil around the edge of mine for the last 5 minutes, so the middle could colour, but not burn the outside.) Leave to cool on a wire rack.
At first I couldn't get the hang of the very simple plaiting instructions, I'm used to plaiting with 8 strands!! In the end, I was very happy with the result! X Bo
P.S with Easter fast approaching I hope to make some hot cross buns soon!