Bakers were kneading up a storm in The Great British Bake Off tent this week, so we just had to get a slice of the Bread Week action for ourselves…
Stuffed with sundried tomato, walnut, garlic, oregano and parsley, this braided loaf is packed with italian flavour and is guaranteed to make your kitchen smell good enough to eat. Serve fresh from the oven for an ultimate indulgence.
Makes: 2 loaves
Prep: Approx 1 hour (Not including proofing time)
Cook: 35 to 40 mins
Nutrition, per serving: 441 calories
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
• 500g strong white bread flour (and extra for dusting)
• 10g instant yeast
• 125g spelt flour
• 2 teaspoons of runny honey
• 2 tbsp sea salt
• Olive oil
TOMATO AND OREGANO FILLING
• Half a bunch of fresh oregano
• 50g of sundried tomatoes
• 35g Parmesan Cheese
WALNUT AND PARSLEY FILLING
• 60g walnut halves
• Half a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 1 clove of garlic
Extra sea salt can be used for sprinkling, and olive oil for brushing.
Firstly, take your yeast, spelt flour, bread flour and sea salt in a bowl and combine. Make a well in the centre, and pour in your honey, 2 tbsp of oil and 400ml of tepid water. Using your fingers, mix the liquid and gradually bring in the flour, combining to make a soft dough.
Lightly flour your worksurface, before kneading the mixture for 10 minutes. Once your dough begins to feel elastic, add to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to proof for 45-60 minutes.
While waiting for your dough to prove, it’s time to make your fillings.
For the tomato and oregano filling, first place two tbsp of olive oil in a small pan over medium heat, and allow to warm. Next, take your pan from the heat and stir in your oregano, finely chopped. While this mixture is infusing, finely chop your sundried tomatoes. Add to the mixture and set aside in a small bowl.
Once the time has passed for your first prove, take to dough from the oiled bowl and onto a floured surface. Halve the dough and roll out to make two rectangles (roughly 21 x 30cm).
It’s time to add your fillings to the dough. Spread the tomato mixture over the surface of one rectangle, and grate over your parmesan, and over the other rectangle spread your walnut mixture.
Next, each rectangle needs to be rolled tightly into a log shape. Start with the long edge of your rectangle and roll in, laying it seam-side down. Trim each log down so they’re an equal length, then cut each log in two, lengthways, so you are left with four long pieces of filled dough.
Place one piece of walnut, and one piece of parsley dough side-by-side, cut-side up, and pinch the top of both pieces together. Then, begin the braiding process by lifting the left over the right, and repeating until the two are intertwined, with filling visible on top.
Seal by pinching the loose ends together, then shape the plait into a tight ‘S’ shape. Next, tuck both ends under the middle to form a figure of 8. Repeat with the second loaf.
It’s time for the last proof. Place both of your loaves on a greased baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch and have room to grow. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise for 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
After your loaves have grown, brush both with olive oil and scatter with sea salt. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until they look beautifully golden.
Allow time to cool on a wire rack, and enjoy warm or cool!
If you try this recipe for yourself, be sure to share your photos with us over on our social media platforms. We’ll be getting in The Great British Bake Off spirit over the next few months, so watch this space for more baking inspiration.