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The Ultimate Sweet bread

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Ingredients

  • 1 kg hard flour
  • 150 g LURPAK cow milk butter
  • 280 g granulated sugar
  • 22 g dried yeast
  • 200 ml whole milk
  • 90 ml water
  • 80 ml fresh orange juice
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoon mahlab powder
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon mastic powder
  • 1 vanilla vial 
  • zest of 1 orange, optionally

 

Ingredients for brushing

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk 

 

Method

In a small pot heat the water, until it becomes lukewarm. 

Then, in a mixer’s bowl place the lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2-3 tablespoons of flour, and dried yeast. Stir slightly, using a large spoon, until the ingredients come together.

Next, cover the mixer’s bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for around 20 minutes. 

Heat the milk, until it becomes lukewarm, and then melt the butter into a coffee pot or in the microwave oven until it becomes warm. After 20 minutes and as soon as the yeast mixture has risen, add the rest of the flour, and then the rest of the ingredients. Make sure to add the milk and butter at the end. 

Stir the mixture with the hook attachment, at medium to low speed, for at least 10 minutes until the dough becomes quite sticky and stretchy. 

Right after, grease a large bowl, place into it the dough, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. 

Finally, let the dough rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours, until doubled in size.

When ready, remove from the bowl and divide it into 9 equal parts. Then, take 3 of these parts and create long rolls of the same length and thickness with each piece of dough and eventually create a braid.

Follow the same process and make braids with the rest of the dough parts. Right after, line a baking pan with parchment paper and transfer the braids into it.

Next, cover the pan with a clean towel and let it rest in a warm place for at least 45 minutes. 

After 45 minutes, place into a bowl the egg along with the milk, making sure they are both at room temperature and stir with a hand whisk until combined. When ready, brush slightly with this mixture the whole surface of each braid. 

Bake in a preheated oven on the middle oven rack, at 160 C fan, for about 23-25 minutes.

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