Saturday 9 January 2016

Bake Day - Stilton, Walnut and Ham Bread Plait

I was a little disappointed with this...I used the core bread mix from last week, however the plan was this time to fill each plait with a different filling. I chose stilton cheese, walnut pieces, and some pulled ham, as it's a classic flavour combination. The flavours themselves worked well, however the loaves didn't quite come out how I hoped.

Once the dough had done it's first prove, I split it into 6 even chunks (I was making 2 loaves, each with 3 plaits), then rolled them out to about 20 inches in length. these were then flattened slightly, the filling was placed down the middle, and then I pinched them back together. The mistake I made here was that I needed to put far more filling in to get the look I was hoping for when you chopped through...also, the re-closed plaits were far more delicate than I had anticipated, and when I came to plaitting them, they were stretching and losing shape quite easily.

The end result of this was that the plait itself was uneven, with larger lumps at the end, and thin in the middle. once the bread had proved for a second time, and then baked (10 minutes at 230'C, and then 15 minutes at 200'C, with a jug of water poured into a tray in the bottom of the oven on the first part of the bake, the filling was a very small part of the overall loaf volume. That said, the bread and flavour was delicious.

I'll give filled breads another go, but next time I'll make the outer walls of each plait thinner, more filling, and I'll have a think on how to plait they delicate sausages of filling without stretching them.