and Aniseed Plaited Scone Loaf
are a British tradition and eaten a lot in New Zealand,
particularly scones made with sultanas or dates. I’ve
taken the flavour combination from the Fig & Aniseed bread
in my last book ‘Taste – baking with flavour’.
I just love these flavours and wanted to make something
quick and simple, instead of waiting for the bread to slowly
bake. Its so nice eaten warm with a slice of softened butter
and a hot cup of orange, lemongrass and mint infused tea
from "Global Baker - Dean Brettschneider")
200g Turkish dried figs, stems removed and finely chopped
50mls dark rum or ouzo liquor
1 teaspoons of aniseeds, lightly bruised with a rolling pin
or pastel & mortar to release the flavours
50g softened butter
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, ensuring that the
figs are broken down a little, cover and set aside for a
few hours, or over night, then mix again. You will notice
the figs will
break up more easily as they soften, so the longer the soaking
time the better.
380g plain flour
30g caster sugar
25g baking powder
good pinch salt
60g butter, softened
1 egg whisked together with 2 tablespoons water for the egg
Makes 2 small plaited loaves or one large plaited loaf
1. Using a large sieve, sift the flour, sugar,
salt and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the
butter and rub into the flour using your finger tips until
it is evenly mixed in.
In a jug, whisk together the milk
and egg and pour into the dry ingredients. Using a wooden
mix together until you have a soft dough, then tip it out
onto a floured bench and knead for 10 – 20 seconds,
however don’t over-knead otherwise it will become too
3. Take the dough and cut it into two equal pieces, or leave
whole for a large loaf, and shape it into a square shape.
Then using a rolling pin, roll out each dough piece on a
floured bench to a square measuring approximately 25cm by
Whisk the egg and water together to make an egg wash.
Spread half of the filling evenly on top of each dough sheet,
leaving about 1cm free at the bottom edge.
Brush the bottom edges with the egg wash, then tightly roll
up the dough sheet, starting at the top to achieve a swiss
roll or pinwheel shape log, 25cm in length, repeat the filling,
egg-washing and rolling process with the other sheet.
a sharp large chef’s knife or dough scraper make a
single lengthways cut down the middle, right the way through.
8. Take the two strands, one in each hand, with the cut side
of each strand facing towards you, twist them around each
other, press the ends firmly together so they do not unwind
during the baking process. Twist and press the other two
strands. Place the plaits onto a baking tray lined with non-stick
baking paper keeping them well apart so the don’t join
together during baking.
Brush the plaits with egg wash and
allow them to rest for 10 minutes on the bench before baking.
Make the apricot glaze* and set aside for later use.
Bake in a preheated oven set at 170 - 180ºC and bake
for approximately 30 – 35 minutes for the smaller loaves,
and 35 – 40 minutes for the large loaf, turning the
tray half way through baking to ensure an even colour.
from the oven and brush immediately with the hot apricot
glaze, which you prepared earlier.
4 tablespoons apricot jam
3 tablespoons water
Place the apricot jam and water into a small saucepan and
bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Strain the glaze
through a sieve and use whilst both the plaits and glaze