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Cholla Loaf

Cholla Loaf

Aimee Field
Bread glorious bread. Sometimes a slice of bread smeared with butter is the perfect treat, and this cholla loaf is a brilliant showstopper.
4 from 2 votes
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Proving Time 4 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 5 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine British
Servings 1 loaf

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
  • 10 g salt
  • 25 g caster sugar
  • 10 g instant yeast
  • 30 g unsalted butter softened
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 50 ml warm milk
  • 180 ml cool water

Instructions
 

  • Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt and sugar on one side, and the yeast on the other. Add the butter, 2 of the eggs (beaten) and the milk, then half the water. Turn the mixture round with your fingers, as if you were a hand mixer. Continue to add the water, a little at a time, until all the flour is incorporated. You may not need to use all the water, or you may need to add a little more - your dough needs to be soft but not soggy. Keep mixing the dough until it forms a rough dough.
  • Lightly flour the work surface, tip the dough onto it and begin to knead. Keep kneading for 5-10 minutes until the dough forms a soft, smooth skin. You will need to work through the initial wet stage, so keep going but don't overdo it on the additional flour.
  • Once the dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave it to rise in a warm place until at least doubled in size, this will take at least 1 hour, but can be left for 2 or 3.
  • Lay a sheet of baking paper on a large flat baking tray and set aside. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and fold inwards until all the air is knocked out and the dough is smooth. Divide the dough into three equal pieces and roll into sausages about 30cm long.
  • Join the three pieces together at one end ready to plait the strands. Start with the outer piece on the right and lift it over the middle piece, then lift the piece on the left over the middle, then the right over the middle and left over the middle. Repeat this sequence until you reach the end. Tuck the ends underneath to neaten. Lift the plaited dough onto the prepared baking tray and brush all over with the remaining egg (lightly beaten).
  • Put the tray inside a clean plastic, making sure the bag doesn't touch the dough. Leave to prove for about 1 hour, or until the dough is at least doubled in size and springs back quickly if you prod it lightly. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 200C/180C Fan.
  • Bake the loaf for 20-25 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the base. The loaf will colour quickly due to the egg wash, so keep an eye on it. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Notes

Adapted from Paul Hollywood's How To Bake.
Keyword cholla, plaited loaf