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November 5, 2012 / mintcustard

A plaited loaf.

My two daughters will tell you that putting their hair in plaits was the limit of my hairdressing skills. Some mothers could do a French plait, others did very tidy buns for dancing and one even did a zig zag parting  and symmetrical bunches. I mostly provided them with a Croydon facelift straight into a pony tail.

What then possessed me to try and do an 8 strand plait for the latest Fresh from the oven challenge hosted Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and coordinated by Claire at Purely Food and Michelle at Utterly Scrummy?  Only my competitive nature and the fact that a certain Mr Hollywood had made it look scary. I like a challenge. I’m not one to be defeated and if all else failed I’d still have a loaf of bread albeit one that looks like a bag of spanners.

I will admit that I love making all sorts of different yeasted bakes so the actual bread making part of this challenge wasn’t the problem. If I can make a crumpet or a chocolate Chelsea bun i can certainly make a simple loaf. It was the plaiting that was going to be the problem. Well, not exactly the plaiting, more like my inability to be beaten by anything or anyone. Perhaps a 4 or 5 strand plait might have been a more sensible place to begin but no I had to go broke.

Actually, it wasn’t bad at all. Along with my competitive nature is my need to know all the facts before I start. So I watched a video on YouTube before I made the bread and then used that and a set of written instructions I took from the video to make the plait. A little obsessive, yes, but as I said no lump of dough was going to beat me.

It seems my homework paid off. The dough behaved itself and allowed me to plait it without any problems. The resulting loaf was tasty and pretty, and Mary would have been pleased, no soggy bottom either!

Perhaps I should have done the same homework for the French plaits as i did for this loaf but I doubt the girls would have sat still long enough for me to have done them anyway!

Now I can do the plait want to make a real Chollah loaf. Perhaps that could be a future Fresh from the oven challenge?

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