Twisted and plaited crown shaped loaf flavoured with a smooth damson purée jam, made using an overnight sponge.
250g strong white bread flour (in two 125g lots)
15g fresh yeast or 7g easy blend dried yeast
20ml sunflower oil/melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried milk powder
1 tablespoon beaten egg (keep the rest for brushing the loaf before baking)
Begin the night before (or morning if you want to bake in the evening and do everything in one day).
In a large bowl mix 125g flour with with the yeast and water. Cover and leave overnight (4 - 8 hours)
Add the oil/melted butter and beaten egg to the sponge and mix thoroughly.
Mix the salt and milk powder with 125g flour and add to the spinge mix. Mix in thoroughly and knead until smooth and elastic.
Cover the dough with a damp tea towel or oiled clear film and prove until doubled in size.
Lightly knock back the dough; divide into 2 equal pieces and roll each piece into a long sausage shape. With a rolling pin flatten the rolls into oblongs; spread each piece thinly with the damson jam (I used a home-made damson purée jam, but you could sieve ordinary damson jam instead) and roll up along the long edge.
Using a sharp knife make a cut along the length of each rolled piece of dough (you should be able to see the layers).
Join the rolls at one end and twist them around each other; bring the ends together to form a circle.
Leave to prove again until springy and well risen.
Brush with beaten egg and bake at 220 C for 10 minutes then reduce temperature to 190 C for 15-20 minutes
Cool on a rack and dust with icing sugar before serving.
Added by: Helen Davis
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The Shipton Millers