For our February "Back to the Future, Buddies*" baking project Carola from Sweet and That's it chose a sweet braided fruit loaf called Striezel Viennese. It looks very impressive and is braided with 9 (yes nine) strands! This sounds far more complicated than it is: a four and a three strand braid and a two strand twist are put on top of each other. With Carola's fool proof braiding instructions, this appeared to be pretty easy and good fun. The end result is impressive and very tasty.
Here's my take on the recipe
6 gr instant yeast
400 gr strong bread flour
55 gr sugar
8 gr salt
80 gr sultana's
70 gr mixed dried cherries & berries
70 gr mixed dried fruit (incl. peel)
1 tsp mace
1 large egg, beaten
30 gr unsalted butter, melted
70 gr water
150 gr milk
60 gr icing sugar
1 tbs milk
shaved almonds, toasted
Put all dough ingredients -in this order- in your bread maker and choose the "dough" program. Mine takes 2.20 hrs. including first rise.
Divide the risen dough in 9 equal balls (with help from the scales) and let rest, covered, for 10 mins. Roll every ball into a rope of about 38 cm. I didn't think this was going to happen, but is was easy enough! Try to make the ropes as even in width as possible. Cover dough/ropes you're not working with.
|My very first 4 strand braid|
|38 cm "even" ropes|
Now the fun bit starts! Make the 4 strand braid following Carola's fool proof instructions. Make sure you start braiding tightly from the top. Tuck the beginning and end bits under your finished braid. Place the braid on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. With the side of your hand make a drench down the centre of the 4 strand braid. This will make your other braids stay put, so don't feel like you're ruining all the good work! Make the 3 strand braid and put this in the middle of the 4 strand braid. Loosely (mine was too tight!) twist together the remaining two ropes en place them on top of the 3 strand braid. Tuck in any loose ends. Carefully push the braids together. Cover loosely and let rise for about 1.5 hours, until doubled in size.
Bake at 165C (fan) for 40 mins. While still hot, brush the bread with melted butter.
Transfer to a wire rack until completely cool.
Mix icing sugar and milk and drizzle over the loaf. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.
*This bread was originally chosen for the Bread Baking Babes in December 2009 by Katie from Thyme for Cooking.