This beautiful festive loaf by Andrew MacKenzie will be sure to impress kids and grown-ups alike. Kids can get involved throughout this recipe, from dusting flour to plaiting the loaf! A food processor with a dough hook attachment will make this recipe easier.
Weigh out the flours and spices and add to a large mixing bowl.
Pour in 540ml (17fl oz) water and the yeast and combine with your hands until a dough forms – feel free to use a food mixer with a dough hook attachment instead if you wish.
Flour a work surface and remove the dough from the bowl. Knead for around 20 minutes until the dough is velvety and smooth.
Sprinkle the salt into the dough and combine it throughout the dough by kneading for a further 5 minutes. Return to the bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to prove, until the dough has doubled in size. Kids will be astonished to see how the dough has grown, as if by magic!
Remove the dough from the bowl and flatten slightly. Get the kids to scatter the dried fruit over the dough and gently knead for a further 2 minutes, until the fruit is distributed throughout.
Split into 3 even-sized portions and roll out into long 3cm thick sausage shapes of equal length. Join the pieces of dough together at one end and start to plait evenly – once you’ve got it going, let the kids take over! When the whole loaf is plaited, bring the ends of the plait towards each other to form a circle and neatly pinch and push the ends together.
Heavily dust a baking tray with flour and carefully slide the loaf onto the tray. Cover with a damp, warm cloth and leave in a warm place to double in size again.
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 9, 250°C or as high as possible.
Place the loaf into the oven for 10 minutes, then turn down to Gas Mark 4, 180°C, fan 160°C and cook for a further 20 minutes.
To check the loaf is cooked, tap the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it is ready. Remove from the oven, allow to cool on a wire rack, slice and serve.
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A recipe from the Great British Chefs desserts and baking collection