Plait Bread - Guyanese Sweet Bread


     This Guyanese plait bread is a Christmas tradition. The bread is slightly sweet, but unlike a challah or brioche it isn't enriched with eggs. It's also supposed to be a slightly flat, oval shaped loaf. Recipe adapted from Alicia's Pepperpot

2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 c. warm water

3 1/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. brown sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
3/4 c. warm water

Combine the quarter cup of warm water and the teaspoon sugar. Add the yeast, stir lightly, and allow to stand for 10 minutes. 

In a separate bowl combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Once the yeast is proofed add the yeast, remaining warm water, and melted butter to the flour mixture. Stir to combine. The dough will be craggly and not mixed at this point. Dump out on to a clean and lightly floured surface and knead until combined and starting to be smooth but still sticky. 

Place the kneaded dough into a gallon sized zipper bag and place in the fridge for 2 hours. Remove from the bag and place on the clean surface. Cut off a small piece, just larger than a golf ball. Cut the remaining dough into 3 equal sized pieces. 

Roll the dough pieces in to logs. Make sure they aren't even, you want them thin at the ends and wider in the middle. this will make the final loaf of bread oval shaped. Roll the small piece of dough removed first in to one thin, even, roll. 

Braid the three equal pieces. Drape the thin piece over the top, directly down the middle. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in a cold over for 1 hour. 

Remove the bread and head the oven to 350*F. Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes. remove from the oven, brush with melted butter, and cover with a kitchen towel. Only leave the towel on for 5 minutes. allow to cool completely. 


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