Monday, 7 February 2011

Carrot and Coriander Plait

I feel I should start this post with a huge apology for being out of action for so long.  Time has flown by in the last couple of months, but now that the festive season is over and life is returning to normal, I should hopefully be back to cooking lots and sharing them with you.  I thought would start the beginning of a new month with bread. We can't go wrong with bread, bread makes my world go round.  Even better, homemade bread... and better than that? Flavoured bread! I decided on carrot and toasted coriander seeds this time, and it was wonderful.  The loaf came out of the oven golden orange with flecks of coriander seeds peeking out at me.

I love making bread, especially on a day where I'm not needed anywhere. Making bread is associated to a day of rest for me.  I knead the dough at my own pace, lovingly tip it into an oiled bowl and potter around the house until it's ready to be knocked down and shaped.  This time I decided to take a walk with my new house mate in the late winter sun, enjoying the warmth on my face as we trundle along.  This time of year is wonderful. Everything smells of hope and a taster of spring is beginning to creep in, reminding me it is only a few months before the sight of daffodils and other colourful joys start popping up again.  Until then though, we have cheerful bread...

Carrot and Coriander Bread
(Makes 2Lb Loaf)



Ingredients:
  • 375g Plain Flour
  • 125g Wholemeal Flour
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 70ml Vegetable Oil
  • 1.5 tsp Dried Yeast
  • 240ml Warm Water
  • 1 medium Carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds

Method:
  1. Mix the yeast and warm water together and leave for 15 minutes to activate and a frothy layer forms on top.
  2. Toast the coriander seeds over a medium heat in a frying pan until lightly browned and aromatic. Tip into a pestle and mortar to bruise the seeds.
  3. Mix together the flours and salt, then combine with the oil.  Once evenly distributed, grate in the carrot and tip in the coriander seeds.  Stir to distribute.
  4. Make a well, pour in the yeast mixture, stir to make a dough and roll out onto a lightly floured surface to knead.  Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic, and tip into a lightly oiled bowl.  Leave covered in a warm place to double in bulk for about an hour and a half.
  5. Knock the dough down, divide into three balls and roll each one into a long sausage shape.  Press the ends together on one end and plait the strands, sealing the ends together. Pat into shape and leave to prove for 30 minutes more, covered.  Switch on the oven to GM 4/180C/350F to pre-heat.
  6. Bake the plait for 40-45 minutes until lightly golden and the base sounds hollow when knocked.  Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

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