This lovely plait is a rich sweet dough studded with raisins and chopped almonds, you can add chopped glace cherries too if liked or you could also drizzle it with a little runny glace icing as soon as it comes out of the oven, to make a sweet sticky glaze. If you feel that making a plait is hard work, why not shape the mixture into round buns or even bake as a whole loaf in a 900g loaf tin. This makes a lovely loaf to serve for brunch or tea time with a nice cup of tea.
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 50g butter
- 2tsp easy bake or fast action yeast
- 1tbsp sugar
- 1tsp salt
- 150ml milk
- 75ml water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 50g raisins
- 50g chopped almonds
- Good pinch ground cinnamon
- 25g flaked almonds
- Icing sugar for dusting
Place the flour in a mixing bowl, add the butter and rub in until it forms fine crumbs. Stir in the yeast, sugar and salt.
Warm the milk until it is just hot, then add the water – the mixture should be just warm to the touch. Add to the flour with the beaten egg, raisins, almonds and cinnamon and mix well to make a soft dough. Add a little more water or milk if necessary.
Knead in an electric mixer for 5 mins or turn out onto a lightly floured work top and knead for 10 mins until smooth and elastic.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each into a long sausage about 45cm long. Join together at one end, then plait together. Place on a baking tray and cover loosely with oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place to rise for about 45 mins to an hour or until doubled in size.
Pre heat the oven to 190°C/170°C Fan/Gas Mark 5.
When the dough has doubled in size sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Bake the plait for 25-30 mins until golden brown, risen and it sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Allow to cool on a wire rack and dust thickly with icing sugar.
Top tip for making Sweet almond bread plait
If liked you can soak the raisins in 1-2 tbsp rum or brandy before adding to the dough. This bread is best eaten the day it is made, but can be toasted the next day.