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On 25 September, millions will celebrate the start of Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah). We asked one London-based baker to share a traditional braided loaf. See method
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In a bowl, mix the flour, yeast and salt. Make a well in the centre and add the honey, oil, 1 egg and 1 egg yolk.
Holding the bowl with one hand, use the other cupped hand to bring the wet and dry ingredients together, squeezing between your fingers. Gradually add 140-180ml warm water and, working from the outside in, scrape the flour from the sides of the bowl until you have a dough that’s sticky but not wet.
Tip the dough onto a clean surface. With the heel of your hand, anchor the edge of the ball to the surface and stretch it away from you with the other, then bring it back to you to knead; repeat. If the dough is sticking, use a dough scraper to keep the surface dough-free. Knead for 10 mins or until the dough is uniform and smooth. Sprinkle over the cinnamon, fold in and knead for 2 mins more.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl; cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place to prove for 1-1 hr 30 mins until puffy with small air bubbles.
Meanwhile, mix the sliced apple with 2 tbsp sugar and set aside. Line a baking tray with nonstick baking paper and grease a small, oven-safe ramekin with oil. Beat together the remaining egg and egg white.
Divide the dough into 3 parts, then leave to rest for 10 mins. Roll each piece out into a flat rectangle about 20cm long. From a short edge, tightly roll up each piece of dough as you would a Swiss roll. Next, use your hands to roll each strip until 75cm long, forming each end into a point. Dust each strand with flour, then join the three pieces together at one end and braid together. Pinch together at the end to seal. Wrap around the prepared ramekin, then tuck the end in to neatly seal.
Cover the dough with oiled clingfilm and set aside in a warm place to prove for a further 30 mins-1 hr or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. Use a pastry brush to brush the dough with beaten egg, making sure every area is covered. Decorate with apple slices and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 18-24 mins, covering the top with a loose sheet of foil after 15 mins if it’s browning too quickly. It’s ready when it’s deep golden brown, cooked through and the apples are crisp at the edges. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Once cool, fill the ramekin with honey and fresh apple slices, if you like.
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Freezing and defrosting guidelines
In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.
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