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INGREDIENTS

200 ml soya milk
100 g coconut sugar
3 teaspoons dried yeast or I use 1 tbs baking powder mixed with crushed vit C
500g all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
Zest from 1 lemon
2 flax eggs ( 2 tbsp flaxseeds topped with 4 tbsp boiled water)
100 g vegan butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup raisins, sultanas or dried 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Prepare your flax eggs. Add 2 tbsp of flaxseeds and 6 tbsp of boiled water and then whisk until it becomes gelatinous. Let sit in the fridge for 15 mins.

Heat the milk so that it is lukewarm. Measure 1 teaspoon from the 3/4 cup of sugar and stir this into the milk along with the yeast( I use 1tbsp of baking powder and crushed Vit C) Leave it to bubble and froth (about 10 minutes).

2. Meanwhile, sift flour, the rest of the sugar and salt into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add lemon zest, flax eggs and melted butter, mixing well. Once the yeast is ready (it should be bubbly and frothy), add to the bowl along with the dried fruit and mix to combine.

3. Using your hands, ‘fold’ the dough, so that it is well combined. The dough will be slightly sticky – this is perfect. If it is too sticky to handle, add a little more flour.

4. Take the dough out of the bowl and dust the sides and bottom of the bowl with flour. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover with a tea towel and put it in a warm place for 2 hours to rise.

Let’s braid!

5. Once the dough has risen, take the dough out of the bowl and cut into 4 same parts –Gently roll each part into a log shape.

6. Using your hands, roll each piece into a strand, about 1 inch thick. The 4 strands will be braided together to make the braid.

7. Following the links in the post as a guide, braid the four shortest strands (all equal length) together using the videos mentioned in the post as a guide. Once braided, make a dent in the middle of the braid with the side of your hand so that it is flattened slightly making it easy for the next braid to sit on.

9. Mix the olive in a small cup and using a pastry brush, brush over a light coating of oil over the braid.

10. Line a tray with baking paper and place the braid on top, set aside.

13. Once the dough has rested 15 mins , heat the oven to 175C/350F. and sprinkle the almonds on top. To prevent the bread from toppling over when baking, insert 4 skewers in the creases of the braids. Completely cover the braid with tinfoil and bake for 45 minutes, covered the whole time. After 45 minutes, take the foil off and bake for a further 5 – 10 minutes or until the skewers come out clean.

14. Cool completely before dusting with icing sugar and cutting into slices. This bread is delicious when toasted and also makes the best french toast or bread pudding.

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