Tag Archives: great british bake off

Paul Hollywood’s Plaited Loaf

Paul Hollywood’s Plaited Loaf

There is something extremely satisfying about making bread and it always feels like such an acheivement afterwards. I have to say, making sourdough bread from scratch and making my own starter was a very proud moment for me but at the same time even a simple white loaf gives me a sense of satisfaction. And the smell of baking bread….well it is delicious. I think part of the reason it is so satisfying is that you really have to set aside some time to make bread, it can’t be done in a rush, unless you have a breadmaker that is. You have to really put some work into making bread, some tender loving care shall we say. After all my recent birthday cake baking, I have to say I really did miss baking bread, so when I had a few spare moments to bake some this week, I grabbed the chance. Also it was Homemade Bread Day on 17th November, a perfect time to get bread baking again!

I still have a huuuge long list of things from the last Bake Off that I want to make…chiffon cake, strudel, doughnuts, the list goes on. On my list was also the amazing 8 strand plaited loaves they made on the show, I’m always up for a challenge and when I saw them make these I wanted a go. So here it is…Paul Hollywood’s Plaited Loaf from the book ‘The Great British Bake Off – How To Turn Everyday Bakes Into Showstoppers‘.


There seemed to be a lot of trouble with the plaiting on the show but I found that if you follow the instructions exactly how they are written then you shouldn’t have a problem with it….next time I might try 8 strand plaiting my hair!

You will need:

500g strong white bread flour
10g salt
14g fast action dried yeast
20ml olive oil
340ml water at room temperature
1 beaten egg with a pinch of salt (to glaze)

To make the dough put the flour in a mixing bowl, then add the salt on one side of the bowel and add the yeast to the other. These are instructions given by Paul Hollywood and are a way of making sure the two don’t touch each other as the salt can kill the yeast.

Next add the oil and mix in. Add three quarters of the water and use your hands to combine the ingredients. Add the rest of the water and work it into the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for about 10 minutes until it is stretchy. This is the fun, messy bit, but also pretty hard work!

Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave it to rise for about 1 hour at room temperature, it should double in size.

Knock back the dough and turn onto a floured surface. Divide it into 8 equal pieces and roll each peace into a long 40cm strand. Lay the strands out on the work surface, gathering the ends together. Now you are ready to GET PLAITING!


Follow the instructions, it will work, even though it seems a little odd at first. Number the strands, the strand furthest left is number 1, the strand furthest right is number 8, when you move the strands the numbers change and you start from 1 to 8, left to right again.

1. Strand 8 under strand 7, then over strand 1.

2. Strand 8 over strand 5.

3. Strand 2 under strand 3, then over strand 8.

4. Strand 1 over strand 4.

5. Strand 7 under strand 6, then over strand 1.

You only do step 1 once, right at the beginning. Keep repeating steps 2 to 5 until the plait is finished. Finish the ends off neatly.


Leave the plait to rise on a floured baking sheet. Leave it for 1 hour at room temperature. After an hour you can brush the loaf with the beaten egg, then bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 20-25 minutes. It should be golden brown and should sound hollow when tapped underneath.

Serve with butter and jam and enjoy the smell of freshly baked bread. Delicious!


Lottie xx

I am entering this loaf into the Fresh From the Oven challenge, the theme this month is a plaited loaf and it is hosted by Fuss Free Flavours. This challenge is ran by Claire and Michelle fromPurely Food and Utterly Scrummy Food for Families.

I am also entering this into Calendar Cakes, because of Homemade Bread Day this month the theme is Bread, Rolls and Buns! This is hosted by LauraLovesCakes and Dollybakes.


Bake Off Challenge – Round Up 2!

Bake Off Challenge – Round Up 2!

Lots more lovely entries for the next round up in the Bake Off Challenge! The idea behind the challenge is to bake something inspired by The Great British Bake Off, be that something they have baked on the show, something from a Bake Off book or something along one of the themes they use on the show. Round Up 1 can be found here.

Up first was Ros, Baking Addict from The More Than Occassional Baker with some delightful looking  Caramel Cake and Aztec Cookies., using recipes from the GBBO app! She also reviews the GBBO app and book in this post! I love the gold dust finish on the cookies.




Next up is Laura from Laura Loves Cakes. She entered some absolutely beautiful Choux Swans from the Great British Bake Off – how to turn everyday bakes into Showstoppers book. Well done, they look great!


The next entry was from Lindsay at Baking, Making and Crafting with Mrs M, with Paul Hollywood’s Hand Raised Pies for Week 5?s technical challenge. They look excellent and love the idea for the vegetarian filling. I think Mr Hollywood would be impressed with these.


And Lindsay (Baking, Making and Crafting with Mrs M) has obviously been very busy baking because the next few entries all came from her too! You obviously have been very inspired by the Bake Off! So thank you for lots of entries!

Her next entry was Ryan’s Key Lime Pie, which looks delicious! I couldn’t believe how much praise this got on the show, it must be good!


Next are some lovely Triple Ginger Caramel Cookies, sounds delicious! These were inspired by the biscuit episode on GBBO!


Lindsay’s next baking adventure was Paul Hollywood’s Jam Doughnuts and they look great! The recipe for these is in the GBBO Showstoppers book.


And for Patisserie week she made some Lemon and Almond Salambos using an adapted recipe from the GBBO Showstoppers book.


Some fabulous entries! There will be one more Bake Off Challenge round up so keep baking! As I’m sure you all know the Great British Bake Off final is just around the corner and I’m sure after that many of you will still have a long list of things to Bake from the series. So the next deadline for the Bake Off Challenge Round Up will be 31st October. I wonder if anyone can been Lindsay with the most bakes entered!!

Lottie xx


Sun-dried Tomato and Parmesan Bagels

I am writing this post having just been up the Orbit at the Olympic Park this evening, a great experience and an awesome view. This Sunday is the Paralympic Closing Ceremony so I am very excited, I will be walking out into the stadium again. To make it even more exciting my boyfriend and my family all have tickets and to make it yet even more exciting, Coldplay will be there!! I absolutely cannot wait. However, at the same time Sunday is really going to be quite sad, it will be the end of London 2012, I will really miss it! I will have to find something else to keep myself busy….baking?

This bake is another bake that is inspired by the Great British Bake Off. I had never made bagels before but I thought I would give it a go because the idea of boiling the dough was so fascinating! It worked though and I was rather pleased with the result, I think it is something I will try again. The basic recipe I used is from Dan Lepard’s Short and Sweet, a really lovely book that seems to have a recipe for absolutely everything! Dan uses a different kneading technique in the book for these bagels which involves minimal kneading. You knead the dough for 10 seconds, leave it for 10 minutes and keep repeating. I was slightly nervous about this but I did some research on the Internet and people seemed pleased with the results, so I gave it a go and it worked! Try it! I opted for savoury flavoured bagels rather than sweet and used sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese to flavour them.

To make these bagels you will need:

300g strong white flour
1tsp fast action yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1tbsp caster sugar
275ml warm water
1tbsp white wine vinegar
50g brown sugar
100g sundried tomatoes (chopped)
parmesan cheese (finely grated)

Start buy mixing together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the warm water and vinegar and stir to form a dough. Cover the bowl and leave it for 10 minutes. Knead the 10 for 10 seconds (do this on a lightly oiled surface and lightly oil your hands), put back in the bowl, cover and leave for 10 minutes. Repeat this 10 seconds of kneading and leaving for 10 minutes twice more. After this cover the dough and leave for an hour. Now you can add the tomatoes to the dough by gently kneading them in until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each one into a ball, cover and leave to rise for 20 minutes. To shape the bagel stick a finger through the centre and stretch the dough into a ring. Make the hole slightly bigger than you want it as it will close up a bit. Put the brown sugar into a pan of boiling water and drop the bagels into the water one or two at a time. Boil for about 30-60 seconds on each side. Put the boiled bagels on a lightly oiled tray, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven at 200C.

I am entering these into the Bake Off Challenge that I am running. You can find out how to enter your Bake Off inspired bakes here. Anything related to the Great British Bake Off is eligible!

Lottie xx


Chocolate Dipped Rose and Strawberry Meringues

The last 2 weeks have seen me practically glued to the TV at any spare moment. I will admit it, I was addicted to the Olympics. I’m not even a very sporty person, yet I found myself enjoying every sport that there is and screaming at the TV with excitement when we won medals! I also thought that both of the ceremonies were just absolutely fantastic! Like many, I did feel a little bit sad at the end of the closing ceremony, that was the end of the Olympics and it was such a fabulous 2 weeks, everywhere in London was buzzing. Now I am just as excited though for the Paralympics, I cannot wait for them to start. I am performing in the Opening and Closing ceremonies and had my first rehearsal recently, I cannot put into words how excited I am to be a part of these ceremonies! Bring on the Paralympics!

Me and Russ supporting Team GB at the Olympics:

However you may have noticed that I haven’t had a chance to blog over the last 2 weeks of the Olympic period, there was just too much happening! Then this weekend I went on a little Camping Trip to Eastbourne. Turns out a 6 man tent really isn’t big enough for 6 people! All of us being Olympic fans we found a big screen in Eastbourne where the Olympics were being shown. We turned out there at 10am on Saturday morning to watch the diving semi final and cheer on Tom Daley and were practically the only people there. We were back again in the evening and sat in the cold to see Mo Farah win and Tom Daley get his bronze. This time a few more people were there. On Sunday we turned up for the Closing Ceremony, armed with sleeping bags to keep us warm, to find the place absolutely jam packed with people! It was fantastic and the atmosphere was amazing. An excellent end to the Olympics. Now though it is time for another little blog. This is another pretty post, I do like a bit of pretty baking. These meringues are lovely and make a fantastic summer treat for a party or picnic. They are rose and strawberry meringues dipped in chocolate and drizzled in chocolate. Yum!


To make these meringues you will need:

4 large egg whites (at room temp)
120g caster sugar
120g icing sugar
2 tsp rose water (I used English Provender Co. Essence of Rose Water)
Freeze dried strawberries (I used a tube by Cake Professional from Waitrose)
Pink food colouring – optional  (I use Sugarflair Colour Pastes)
Chocolate for dipping (I used white and dark chocolate)

Beat the egg whites on medium speed with an electric whisk until they form stiff peaks. Add the caster sugar a bit at a time and beat in between each addition. Also add the rose water and a small amount of food colouring if you are using it. Add the icing sugar half at a time and fold in using a metal spoon trying to keep as much air in the egg whites as possible, also fold in the freeze dried strawberries at this stage.

Spoon or pipe the meringue mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. I tried to pipe swirls using a 1M nozzle but the strawberries get stuck in the nozzle so make sure you use quite a large round nozzle if piping.

Bake in a preheated oven at 100C for about 1.5 hours. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water. Once the meringues are cool dip the bottom of the meringues in the chocolate and put on a piece of greaseproof paper to leave the chocolate to set. Drizzle any left over chocolate over the meringues.

I made half of mine pink and half of them white. The white ones I dipped in dark chocolate and the pink ones in white chocolate.

On another exciting note, The Great British Bake Off starts tonight! Woop woop!


Lottie xx

I am linking this to the Cook.Eat.Delicious-Desserts blog event because the theme this month is Chocolate! It is hosted this month by Culinary Vibes.

I am also entering it into Simple and in Season hosted by Ren at Fabulicious Food because strawberries are in season this month.

I am also entering this into Calendar Cakes hosted by Dolly Bakes and Laura Loves Cakes. The theme this month is British Summertime, so these fit in nicely!