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Attempting the Plait

IMG_6549My mom was born and raised in Berlin and for a short period in my teens we moved over to Germany, becoming ‘regular’ culturally non German ‘Germans’.

During this time, I attended a typical high school in the small town we had moved to (two hours from the wonderful city that is Berlin) and I took cooking class or Hauswirtshaft as it’s called there. Basically a ‘how to’ in how to have a successful household, this included smart sense ‘money’ lessons in how to save and set aside income for regular outgoings.

I still to this day have the cooking folder from that class and this was one of the recipes we attempted during my attendance. I can’t remember how it turned out all that time ago, so I knew it was time to try this out again.

Now, I’m going to make a confession, I screwed up twice on this recipe. Not once, but twice, and you can’t taste the difference, but the difference is definitely there.

Unfortunately, my first mistake was that I needed to knead the dough longer, by my not doing this, it turned out a little crumblier then it would have (something my mum happily said ‘told you so (in German of course)). Secondly, I didn’t add half the egg to the dough, this may have also contributed to the crumbly result, although I can’t be certain of this.

Hefezopf
Adapted from Foody Food
Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:
4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup superfine/caster sugar
2 packages of instant dry yeast (equivalent to three tablespoons)
Pinch of salt
200g butter
1 cup warm milk
1 egg

Directions::
Mix all dry ingredients together. Slowly add the warm milk and melted butter. Once the mixture is combined, add half the egg.

Knead the dough until it is smooth. Place in a bowl and set somewhere preferably warm for an hour and a half.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/355F. Knead the dough consistently for approximately 5 minutes and then divide into three equal portions.

Roll out into long thin strips (this can take a few minutes for each and if you don’t have much kitchen space, I shaped mine into loose snails to set aside while I rolled each one into the long length required).

Take the three pieces and push one end together then slowly plait each piece. Once you have finished the plait, join the ends as you did at the beginning and brush on the remaining half an egg.

Bake in an oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with butter and sweet jam.

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