Posts Tagged ‘Jeffrey Hamelman Bread’

My last post about bread braiding for a while…promise!

A few people asked about the Winston knot design that I made in the previous post, so I tried the pattern again, taking photos this time.  The original instructions for this shape are in Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread.

Each of the loaves was made with a full batch of the braided bread dough recipe – approximately 850g each.  The dough was divided into six balls of approximately 140g each, and then rolled into long logs.

Note that the logs need to be looong, or you’ll run out of dough before the end.  Mine were about 60cm/24 inches each.  After rolling, very lightly dust the logs in a little flour to help improve definition in the finished loaf.

Step 1: Lay the dough out as shown below.  From now on, each group of three adjacent logs will be treated as a single unit. Note that when each group is woven, the rolls should not be turned over but simply rotated, so that the part that is face up continues to be face up for the whole process.  Please also note that I stuffed this up in step 2 (but it wasn’t too bad, as that bit ended up at the bottom of the loaf).

Step 2: Rotate group 1 down to lie adjacent to group 4.

Step 3: Rotate, without turning over, group 2 under group 4 and over group 1.  It should end up next to group 3.

Step 4: Rotate group 3 over group 2 and lie it next to group 1.

Step 5: Weave group 4 under group 1 and over group 3.  Nearly there!

Step 6: Bring what you have left of group 2 over group 4, then squelch all the bits together at the bottom.  Don’t worry too much about neatness, as this ends up on the underside of the loaf.

Step 7: Fold the bottom of the dough (the bit you’ve just squelched together) upwards to the middle of the dough.

Step 8: Now repeat with the top of the dough.  Squish the two bits you’ve folded in together, but be careful not to squash the dough down, or you’ll flatten out the design.

Step 9: Now turn the loaf over and admire your handiwork!  Place the dough on a parchment lined tray, then cover it with oiled clingfilm and leave it in a warm place to rise.  Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) with fan.

Step 10: To finish, brush the risen dough with a little melted butter, and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes, or until dark brown and hollow sounding.  Reduce the heat near the end if it starts to brown too much for your liking.  Remove from the oven and immediately brush the hot bread with extra melted butter, before allowing to cool on a wire rack.  Enjoy!

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

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I’m really taken with how versatile the braided dough recipe is!

It’s deliciously buttery, yet only has 40g of butter in the mix, making it a reasonable lower-fat substitute for brioche.  The overall preparation time is quite short – whereas regular brioche can take a full day or more to prepare, a batch of this dough started at 9am would easily be ready for lunch.  Best of all, it works brilliantly in a variety of different forms, making it great for shaping!

This morning I made a double batch of the dough, using 50:50 bakers flour to plain (AP) flour.  This was divided into one 500g and two 600g pieces.

The 500g dough was shaped into a linked chain loaf, following the step by step instructions at The Shiksa Blog.  It’s an easy loaf to make, and involves shaping five fat rolls into linked rings, and then joining the last ring to the first to form a closed circle.

. . . . .

One of the 600g pieces of dough was divided into six long thin rolls, then shaped into a Winston knot – a tricky woven design from Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread book.  It was moderately successful in form, but I think I’ll need to try with a larger quantity of dough next time.  The crumb, though, was perfect.

. . . . .

The remaining 600g piece of dough was divided into eight balls, which were packed snugly against each other in a parchment lined loaf tin.  The end result was this gorgeous faux brioche, with its wonderfully tender texture.  Here are a couple of crumb shots to tempt you!

Edit: Today’s loaf: a simple six braid design baked in a loaf tin…

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