This braided sweet bread will be the talk of the table on Easter morning. Serve it fresh from the oven for breakfast or morning tea, and just hope there’ll be some left over for second helpings!
- 2 3/4 cups plain flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tbs caster sugar *extra
- 7 g dried yeast
- 3 eggs
- 125 g butter melted
- 2 pinches raw sugar *to decorate
- 125 g dark chocolate melts
- 60 g butter
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, combine flour, salt and extra sugar. Warm milk to approximately 40C (it should feel neither hot nor cold when you dip your finger in it). Whisk in extra caster sugar and yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes until frothy. Whisk in 2 eggs and melted butter.
- Add the milk and egg mixture into flour in mixing bowl. Mix on medium-high for 6-8 minutes until dough is soft and springy. Place dough in a bowl that has been brushed with melted butter. Brush a little extra butter over the dough. Cover with cling film and set aside to rise in a warm place for approximately 1 1/2 hours.
- Make chocolate filling by combining ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, and stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a large 40cm x 40cm square. Spread chocolate filling over one half of the dough. Fold dough over to encase filling and gently roll to smooth. Cut into three long strips.
- Line a large oven tray with baking paper. Carefully lift strips onto tray and press at top end to join. Twist each strip a few times. ‘Braid’ dough by gently lifting first the left strand over the middle strand, then the right strand over the middle strand, and so on, until you have a long plaited loaf. Press to join the bottom ends together.
- Leave to prove for another 40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 240C (220 degrees fan-forced). Whisk remaining egg and brush the top of the loaf all over. Sprinkle with caster sugar. Place in oven and immediately drop temperature to 200C (180 degrees fan-forced). Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown all over and cooked through.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly. Decorate with chocolate or candied Easter eggs. Serve immediately.