So with school holidays being this week and the coldest stretch of weather for 36 years, I thought it apt to warm the house with the residual heat of the oven and to keep the kids content with the aroma and anticipation of freshly baked goods.

I based this recipe on one from the delicious baking cookbook, they use chopped glace apricots and candied citrus peel which I replaced with walnuts and cranberries.  I think its a pretty adaptable recipe.

120g unsalted butter, 1/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup caster sugar, 2 2/3 cups plain flour, 7g dried instant yeast, 3 eggs beaten, 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/3 cup cranberries, 1-2 tbs flaked almonds

Melt butter, milk and caster sugar together, cool until lukewarm, combine flour and yeast together, add beaten eggs and milk mixture (reserve some egg mixture for later) – beat for 10mins with a dough hook and mixer.  Add the walnuts and cranberries and mix for a further min till combined.  Let rest for 1 hour until doubled in size.  Knock down and divide dough into 3 pieces, roll each out and then braid together.  Rest for another 30mins.  Preheat oven 180C, brush loaves with remaining egg mixture and sprinkle with almonds.  Bake for 25-30 until golden.  Cool and serve with butter, jam or as part of a cheese platter.  Leftovers are terrific in a bread and butter pudding as well.

Looking outside its starting to rain and think I might need to fire the oven up for dessert.



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