This lovely plait is a rich sweet dough studded with raisins and chopped almonds, you can add chopped glace cherries too if liked or you could also drizzle it with a little runny glace icing as soon as it comes out of the oven, to make a sweet sticky glaze. If you feel that making a plait is hard work, why not shape the mixture into round buns or even bake as a whole loaf in a 900g loaf tin. This makes a lovely loaf to serve for brunch or tea time with a nice cup of tea.
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 50g butter
- 2tsp easy bake or fast action yeast
- 1tbsp sugar
- 1tsp salt
- 150ml milk
- 75ml water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 50g raisins
- 50g chopped almonds
- Good pinch ground cinnamon
- 25g flaked almonds
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Place the flour in a mixing bowl, add the butter and rub in until it forms fine crumbs. Stir in the yeast, sugar and salt.
- Warm the milk until it is just hot, then add the water – the mixture should be just warm to the touch. Add to the flour with the beaten egg, raisins, almonds and cinnamon and mix well to make a soft dough. Add a little more water or milk if necessary.
- Knead in an electric mixer for 5 mins or turn out onto a lightly floured work top and knead for 10 mins until smooth and elastic.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each into a long sausage about 45cm long. Join together at one end, then plait together. Place on a baking tray and cover loosely with oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place to rise for about 45 mins to an hour or until doubled in size.
- Pre heat the oven to 190°C/170°C Fan/Gas Mark 5.
- When the dough has doubled in size sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Bake the plait for 25-30 mins until golden brown, risen and it sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Allow to cool on a wire rack and dust thickly with icing sugar.
Top Tip for making Sweet almond bread plait
If liked you can soak the raisins in 1-2 tbsp rum or brandy before adding to the dough. This bread is best eaten the day it is made, but can be toasted the next day.
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