This should really be called the onion and parmesan 8 strand plait loaf but given our analytical brains couldn’t process Paul Hollywood’s instructions (no pictures) to make an 8 strand plait we kept on ending up with a messy knot. Giving up we shaped it some more and bunged it in a 2lb loaf tin.
Only as I shut the door of the oven did I click as to what the instructions were telling me. When it says, for example, 8 under 7 over 1 you must also go under 6,5,4,3 and 2. I didn’t and if you don’t you end up with a knot and lots of swearing.
I use onion flour from Claybrooke Mill which is a blend of strong white flour with dried onion flakes. It ‘s a fabulous flour to use along with their chilli flour that I used in the chilli and blue cheese cobs I made back in December.
Ignore the fact dried onion flakes look like toenail clippings; they work really well in bread. They give the flavour of onion to the bread without having to bite through hunks of onion pieces. It also sits with my belief that you are allowed short cuts in baking. Sometimes life’s too short to be faffing with an real hydrated onion.
The leftover bread made rather superb cheese on toast the following day.
Onion & Parmesan Knotted Loaf
- 500g Onion flour mix (or 500g strong white flour and 30g dried onion flakes)
- 10g salt
- 5g fast action yeast
- 25g grated parmesan (plus 1 tablespoon for coating)
- 1 tsp English mustard powder
- 200ml semi-skimmed milk, room temperature
- 150ml warm water
- olive oil (for oiling working surface)
- Put all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix together.
- In a jug mix the milk and water together then pour in to the dry ingredients.
- Mix together the ingredients until they are combined then turn out on to a oiled surface.
- Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is soft and springy. Shape the dough in to a round.
- Put the dough in a clean, oiled bowl, cover in cling film then place in a warm place until it has nearly doubled in size.
- Knock the dough back then allow to nearly double in size again.
- Turn the dough out and split in to eight peices. Roll each piece in to a long thin sausage shape.
- Follow the instructions here on how to plait it, or like me make a total hash of it.
- Place the plaited loaf a 2lb tin that is oiled and dusted with flour.
- Allow the loaf to rise uncovered until it has increased about 50% in size. When ready sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the loaf.
- Place a baking tray of boiling water at the bottom of your oven then place the bread tin on the shelf above.
- Bake at 240°c (or as hot as your oven goes) for 10 minutes then turn down the oven to 180°c and bake for a further 25-30 until the bread is baked. When ready the bread should sound hollow when tapped on the base.
- Take the bread out of the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.