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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Baking A Blue Rock & Onion Braid Using A Sourdough Starter

I discovered a small piece of Blue Rock cheese in the fridge and immediately knew that I wanted to use this in the bread that I intended to bake. Adding some chopped onion, seemed the most natural thing in the world to do, and so I did. I added a couple more interesting ingredients to enhance the flavour, which had me waiting impatiently at the oven door for the bread to be ready, as the whole house was filled with wafts of deliciousness. I once again used a sourdough starter as raising agent. (You can read more about this in an earlier blog: Making a Sourdough Starter). In today's blog, I share ideas for baking a delicious savoury braid with you.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, add 1 cup (250 ml) brown bread flour, 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) cake flour, 1 cup (250 ml) oats, 1 tablespoon (12,5 ml) sugar and 1 tablespoon (12,5 ml) salt.
Optional: To speed up the raising process, you can add half a packet of Instant Dry Yeast to the dry ingredients.

Add roughly 1 teaspoon each (5 ml each) of freshly ground black pepper, paprika and sweet basil.

Crumble a finger of Blue Rock cheese into the dry ingredients. Finely chop two cloves of garlic and two jalapeno chilies and add this to the bowl as well.

Chop an onion very finely and add this to the bowl. Mix the dry ingredients well.

Add 1 egg, 1 cup (250 ml) sourdough starter and 125 g (125 ml) melted butter/margarine to the dry ingredients. Bring the dough together.

Add just enough buttermilk to the dough to bring it together. I used roughly 75 ml in my dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it resembles an elastic ball.

Return to the bowl and cover with plastic. Allow to rise in a warm dry place.

Remove from the bowl once risen.

Knock the dough back by kneading it again on a lightly floured surface.

Prepare a large baking tray with non-stick spray and lightly flour the surface.

Divide your dough into four equal balls.

Roll the dough balls into snakes and gather together at one end.

Take the furthest string and fold it over two strings.

On the opposite side, take the furthest (outer) string and fold it over two strings. Continue this until the whole length of dough is braided.

Tuck the ends in.

Transfer to the baking tray.

Cover with plastic and allow to rise in a warm dry place.

Once risen, preheat the oven to 200 °C.

Bake for about an hour.

Once baked, the loaf will tear easily along the braids, making it unnecessary to cut.

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
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