11 January 2008

Picnic Plait

It's not exactly picnic weather out there: it's wet and dark today, so it is a perfect day for baking bread. I had some dough left over after making two two-pound loaves, so used it to make a picnic plait for lunch. Or perhaps that should be picnic braid now I'm the other side of the Atlantic.

This is the finished product:

Finished picnic plait

You roll the bread dough out (best to do it on a lightly-oiled baking sheet, so you don't have to move it later) and then just put a strip of filling down the centre. I had some leftover crushed tomatoes*, half a red pepper, some cheddar and a slice of ham in the fridge, so they all went in. I softened a small chopped onion in some oil and added that with some dried thyme and black pepper.

Unplaited picnic plait

Then you just cut the edges into strips, fold over the dough at the top and bottom and stretch the strips over the filling, going from alternate sides each time.

Plaited picnic plait

I let it prove for half an hour or so, then cooked it with the bread at 350°F (180°C) for 20-30 minutes. If I'd been serving it to guests I'd probably have glazed the strips with beaten egg, to make it look shiny and scrumptious, but I didn't bother as it's just us eating it. I've trained my family to expect food that tastes fine but doesn't look perfect! We won't be taking it on a picnic today, perhaps, but it is ideal picnic food.

*These are just tomatoes that have been ground to a purée and come in a tin. I don't remember ever seeing them in the UK, but they're great for bolognese sauces and pizza bases.

No comments: