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Homemade Plait (Braided) Bread

Photo courtesy of Chef Chris De La Rosa and www.instagram.com/caribbeanpot.

Homemade Plait (Braided) Bread

By Chef Chris De La Rosa
Culinary Specialist

Chris-De-La-RosaThis plait (braided) bread is a MUST in Guyanese households during the Christmas season.

And why not… you need something to dip into that Guyanese Pepperpot, to soak up all that gravy and slow-cooked goodness.

Here’s my take on this classic homemade bread.

You’ll Need…
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 heaping tablespoon dry active yeast
1 1/4 cup warm milk
1 stick butter (1/2 cup – melted)
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon honey
A tablespoon of melted butter to brush onto the finished bread

I’d recommend that you watch the video, below, to follow along with the kneading and braiding, as it’s better to watch than try to have me describe the process, without overly confusing you.

I warmed the milk, luke-warm, then added the sugar, honey and yeast to it, and allowed it to bloom for 15 minutes.

Did you know… that lukewarm actually comes from the Middle English word, lukewarme. It was a combination of “luke” and “warm,” and the “luke” part was an alteration of the Middle English word lew, which meant tepid. Tepid means neither hot nor cold…or about room temperature.

In a large bowl, add the flour, salt, melted butter, and mix. Add the milk/yeast mixture, then go in with your hands and knead it to a smooth, soft dough. Yes you can use a dough ring on your electric mixer. It takes about 8-10 minutes to work the dough. Then cover with plastic wrap and let it proof for about 45-50 minutes in a warm spot in your kitchen – it will double in size.

Punch down the inflated dough and divided into 3 equal parts. Knead into smaller dough balls and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Now form long logs, with each being the same length and thickness. Please watch the video below showing what I did and how to braid them into the bread. Keep dusting the surface and dough with flour, as you work.

Place the braided dough on your lined baking sheet and allow it to rest for 30 minutes (place a towel over it).

It will get bigger (so don’t be alarmed). Now place into a 375 F oven – middle rack — for about 27-35 minutes, until golden brown, basically, as oven temperatures will vary.

As soon as it comes out of the oven, brush the top of the bread with the melted butter and get ready to enjoy a comforting (yea I said comforting) slice of heaven.

This recipe is courtesy of Gourmand Award-winning cookbook author and founder of CaribbeanPot.com, Chris De La Rosa. With over 450 printable recipes, with step by step cooking instructions and demo videos, PLUS over 1 million social/fan connections, globally, every month, CaribbeanPot.com is the world’s #1 resource for Caribbean Culinary Culture. Connect with Chis on Instagram: www.instagram.com/caribbeanpot/.

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