Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
Guyanese-style plait bread is a hand kneaded white bread that is soft and buttery. It is perfect for stews and pairs nicely with Pepperpot!
Prep Time-2 hrs
Cook Time-25 mins
Total Time2 hrs 25 mins
- 1 tablespoon of dry active yeast
- 1 ¼ cup of warm water 110 °F
- ¼ cup of brown sugar
- 3 ½ cup of all purpose flour plus more for dusting
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup of room temperature butter ok to use vegan butter, plus 1 tablespoon for basting after baking
- Add warm water to a mixing cup, then dissolve the sugar in water. Next add the yeast and give it a stir. Then cover with a towel and set aside in a warm place to bloom
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt and mix together well. Then add the butter to the flour and using a fork or your fingers rub/cut the butter into flour until a crumbly texture forms
- Next, form a well in the center of the flour and butter mixture then add the activated yeast mixture,
- Mix together to slowly form a pancake batter consistency, this is best achieved using a whisk. Then use your hands or a rubber spatula to pull the rest of the flour into the mixture to form a soft dough ball.
- Then turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes into a smooth ball or until the dough bounces back when pressed with a finger
- Place dough ball into a greased bowl, cover with a towel and allow to rise until it doubles in size. This takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour
- When dough doubles in size, punch down and knead again into a smooth ball then cut 2 inch piece of dough off from the ball and set aside
- Then divide the remaining dough into 3 equal parts and roll into even logs that are about 12 to 15 inches long. Next plait the three pieces into a braid by going right over left with alternating logs of dough
- Roll the 2 inch piece of dough that was set aside earlier into a long strip, place the strip on to of the braided loaf, then place loaf on a greased baking sheet
- Cover and let rise for an hour at room temperature or until it doubles in size
- Preheat over to 350 degrees
- Bake bread for 25 minutes (30 if you like it dark), until it is golden brown
- Remove from the oven and brush with 1 tablespoon of butter, cover with a towel and allow to cool completely before serving.
- To speed up the dough rising process, place covered dough in a warm oven (turn oven on to 200°F for 10 minutes, then shut it off). This is great to speed up the first proof, but should not be used for the second proof or your plait will rip apart.
- For best results let the second proof happen at room temperature and let it proof for the full hour.
- After my bread cools I place it into a bread bag to keep it fresh. If you don’t have a bread bag you can wrap it with a clean kitchen towel to keep it from drying out. (Althea Brown, Metemgee)