Making things taste amazing and look pretty is quite hard.. especially with bread. As lovely as bread is, it’s not the prettiest of all bakes. This weeks showstopper challenge on The Great British Bake Off was to produce a bread of 3 different colours, which all had to be naturally coloured. I decided to make a bread wreath which was naturally coloured yellow with turmeric, some bread roses coloured with beetroot, and some bread leaves, coloured with spinach and basil. This recipe is going to explain how I made the yellow turmeric, honey and apricot bread but I have done another little step by step blog post explaining how to make bread roses linked here if anyone is interested.
- 400g white bread flour +extra for dusting
- 1 heaped tsp. dried activated yeast
- 20g unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- 4 heaped tsp. turmeric
- 75ml water
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp. honey
- 65g dried apricots, chopped
- 2 large free range eggs, beaten
- 75ml milk
- Tip the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter with your finger tips until it is all mixed in.
- Tip in the yeast, the salt and the turmeric and then make a little well in the centre of the flour mixture.
- Pour in the water, the honey, 1 beaten egg and the milk and mix everything together with a wooden spoon or your hands (if you don’t mind getting all sticky).
- Keep mixing until everything is fairly combined. You may need to add a little more flour if the dough is too wet and sticky.
- Lightly flour a work surface and tip out the dough. Knead for about 10-15 mins until the dough is stretchy and soft- I advise not doing this on a white surface because the yellow colour from the turmeric slightly stains it… your hands will turn yellow too but it washes off easily.
- Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with clingfilm. Put the bowl it in a warm area and leave the dough to rise for 1 1/2 hours- it should double in size.
- Once the dough has doubled tip it out again onto a floured work surface (not a white one) and with your hands stretch it out slightly. Sprinkle over the chopped apricots and then knead the dough again just for a couple mins so all the apricots are incorporated and evenly spread.
- Split the dough into 3 equal balls and roll them out into long, thin strands.
- Starting in the middle of the strands plait the dough to the left and then to the right so you have one long piece of plaited dough. Chop off the very ends so the plaits look neat and then join the ends of the dough together so it is shaped into a ring.
- Place the dough onto some greaseproof paper on a baking tray and top with any decorations (I made roses out of beetroot coloured dough linked here, and leaves out of spinach and basil coloured dough).
- Cover the bread with clingfilm and place in a warm area for 30-40 mins to allow the dough to slightly grow in size again.
- Take off the clingfilm and brush the dough with the other beaten egg to give the bread a nice shiney glaze.
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 200°C electric or 180°C fan oven. Place the dough on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake for 35 mins. You may need to cover it with tin foil after about 20 mins to stop the top of bread going too brown (a mistake I made…).
- Once baked remove from the oven and leave it to cool on a cooling rack- you will be able to tell its baked perfectly if the bread sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.
- Slice up and enjoy the unusual but yummy sweet and savoury flavours.