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Apricot and Cranberry Wholemeal Seeded Plait

When I found out that this week’s GBBO was about Bread I was really pleased, as I have recently become interested in making my own bread from scratch – for example see my Blackcurrant Focaccia and Cinnamon Chocolate Braid.

A lovely seeded wholemeal flour jumped into my basket in Waitrose the other day, and I thought this would make a delicious, different loaf, together with some dried apricots and cranberries. So I decided to use base my Bread week Bake Along on this. I remember in past series of the Bake Off that the contestants made apricot couronnes, 8 strand plaits, and show-stopper loaves in the shape of peacocks, octopi and crescent braids. My attempt would be a simpler 3 strand plait!

Recipe:

500 g strong seeded wholemeal flour
1 sachet of dried yeast
1 tsp of salt
1 tbsp runny honey
100 g dried apricots, chopped into thirds
75 g dried cranberries
350 ml of lukewarm milk

Method:

Mix the flour, yeast, salt, apricots and cranberries in a large bowl.
Add the milk and honey in a well in the middle and combine to make a soft dough.
Knead on a floured work surface for ten minutes until elastic and pliable.
Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with a tea towel.

Apricot and Cranberry Wholemeal Seeded Plait

Leave to rise for an hour. It should double in size.

Apricot and Cranberry Wholemeal Seeded Plait

Knock back the dough and divide it into 3 equal pieces. Roll each one into a a long sausage that is 30-40 cm in length.

Apricot and Cranberry Wholemeal Seeded Plait

Press the top ends together. Plait the three strands together as you would plait hair, then make the bottom ends tidy by tucking underneath.

Apricot and Cranberry Wholemeal Seeded Plait

Place the plait onto a lightly greased baking tray. Cover the tray with a large plastic bag and allow the loaf to rise again for 30-40 minutes. About ten minutes before the end of the time, preheat your oven to 200 degrees.

Once the loaf has doubled in size again, you can bake it. This is my loaf after the second rise.

Apricot and Cranberry Wholemeal Seeded Plait

Bake for around 30 minutes until the loaf is golden brown. One of the tips from GBBO this week was that it should sound hollow if you tap it on the bottom.

Apricot and Cranberry Wholemeal Seeded Plait

The finished loaf turned out rather well although it burned a little on one end. I must have caught it just in time!

Apricot and Cranberry Wholemeal Seeded Plait

A slice into the loaf reveals the tasty apricots and cranberries, along with the seeds. The combination worked well together and the bread was delicious for breakfast with a little butter spread on it.

Apricot and Cranberry Wholemeal Seeded Plait

Apricot and Cranberry Wholemeal Seeded Plait

I’m linking up with the #GreatBloggersBakeoff run by Jenny at Mummy Mishaps, week three is here.

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I’m also linking up with GBBO Bake Along with Supergoldenbakes.

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Slow Cooker Lime Polenta Cake

Look at this gorgeous cake, so simple yet so delicious.

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As it is gluten-free (if gluten-free baking powder is used) and contains only ground almonds and polenta, the cake is very soft and falls apart easily, so needs to be handled with care.

Recipe:
225 g butter
225 g caster sugar
190 g ground almonds
3 medium eggs
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Zest of two limes
Juice of one lime
110 g polenta
A grinding of salt
1 tsp baking powder (use gluten-free for a completely gluten-free cake)

Method:
Grease an 8 inch silicone pan.
Cream together the sugar and butter using an electric handmixer, until light and fluffy.
Stir in the ground almonds and add the vanilla extract.
Add the eggs one by one, mixing well between each one.
Add the lime zest, lime juice, salt and polenta, and mix until fairly smooth.
Pour the mixture into the silicone pan and place it in your slow cooker (I used a 5.7 litre one). Add some water beneath the pan if required by your slow cooker.

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Replace the lid, tucking a tea towel beneath it to stop water dripping onto the cake.
Cook on high for approx 2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely then carefully remove from the silicone pan.

Dust with icing sugar to serve, and add some mascarpone on the side for an extra treat.

 

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