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Member recipe

Eight strand plaited bread

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Serves 6

This dish is my Italian adaptation of Paul Hollywood's eight strand bread.

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  • For the dough:
  • 250g, strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp, salt
  • 1 tsp, sugar
  • 2 tsp, dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp, sunflower oil
  • 150ml tepid water
  • 1 spring of rosemary
  • 10 halved olives/5 full olives
  • For the topping:
  • 1 crushed garlic


    1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
    2. Place the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, oil and water into a large bowl.
    3. Add the water a little at a time and mix your ingredients together, first with a fork and then with your hands until it all comes together.
    4. Flour your hands and pat and push the dough together with all the remaining flour.
    5. Knead the dough-simply push, pat, roll, fold and slap the dough around , over and over for 5-10 minutes until you have a silky and elastic dough.
    6. First prove-flour the top of your dough. Put it into a bowl, cover with cling film and proving for about half an hour till it is doubled in size. However I will leave mine to rise for 2 weeks until my next lesson but as Elizabeth David says in her "English cookery and yeast book" that "The longer the dough has time to rise the better the dough will be at the end of the day".
    7. When it has risen, take the cling film off and lightly punch the dough. If it has risen then the dough should fall back but gradually return to it's original height. (Not dissimilar to the motion of a plastic bag: if you drop it on the floor it should curl back up).
    8. Now roll out the dough with a rolling pin and flour the surface you are working on. However do not put too much on the work surface as the dough can become too dry and if you put too little or nothing on the dough will be too sticky and stick to the work surface.
    9. Now break up the spring of rosemary and sprinkle the small pieces around the flat, smooth, and even dough.
    10. After that model your dough into a longish, circle and divide it into 8 equal pieces.

Comments, questions and tips

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kazhaz88's picture
18th Jan, 2014
This always works for me... For the following braiding sequence, number the strands of dough from 1-8 from left to right. Every time you move any strand it will take the new number of its position in the row. Step 1: place 8 under 7 and over 1 Step 2: place 8 over 5 Step 3: place 2 under 3 and over 8 Step 4: place 1 over 4 Step 5: place 7 under 6 and over 1 Repeats step 2-5, until all the dough is braided.
18th Jan, 2013
I'm sure this recipe will be delicious but I have a problem with the plaiting order of the bread according to what has been printed on the Paul Hollywood recipe on the BBC Food site. I have done this twice with eagle eye supervision and dictation from my daughter and both times the bread does not turn out as pictured. Resorted to You Tube for challah? bread and realised that the instructions a re correct but in the wrong order. How have 32 people recommended this 8 plait and I keep getting it wrong. Please help
26th Aug, 2013
This only seems to be half a recipe? Only instructions until no. 10? Is this because I'm on mobile or is that it?
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