Plaited Multi-seed Loaf

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Ingredients

500g strong whole-wheat/granary bread flour + more to knead
30g poppy seeds
40g mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower and linseed)
10g dried yeast
380ml lukewarm water
1.5 tbsp olive oil + more to grease
1.5 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
Salt, pepper and poppy seeds to top

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Method

(Using an electric mixer with a dough hook) Combine the flour, seeds, yeast, sugar and salt in the mixing bowl and drizzle in the olive oil. Mix with the dough hook by hand until integrated. Put the hook back into the machine and set on lowest speed, gradually pouring in the warmed water. Scrape down the sides if necessary to make sure all the flour is in, then allow to knead on a low speed for about 8 minutes, or until the dough springs back when you poke it! Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place (I use the airing cupboard with the hot water tank) for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Once the dough has doubled in size, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and punch it to knock out the air (super fun!). Knead the dough a few times with your hands and then use a sharp knife to cut into 3 equal thirds. Roll each into a thin sausage shape of equal thickness, around 30-35cm long. Line them up alongside one another then pinch them all together at one end. Plait them like you would hair, making sure you keep it tight and neat. Pinch the other ends together (use a drop of water to make them stick if needed) and tuck the ends under for neatness. Place the plait on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzles with a tiny bit of oil and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise 20-30 minutes and pre-heat the oven to 230°C/210°C fan.
Once proved again, brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with more poppy seeds (or any other favourite seeds), then pop in the oven to bake. After 15 minutes, reduce the heat oven to 200°C/180°C fan for a further 10 minutes or until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped underneath! Ideally, let you bread cool for a good slicing action, but I tore this apart within 10 minutes, slathering on butter while still steaming hot -YUM.

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