I've never made anything like this before. It was a little bit fiddly but once I got used to working with the dough it all sort of fell in to place, and became a lot of fun. The braiding is cheating, I'm not sure if the way I did it is the way it is supposed to be done.
The dough didn't rise as much as I had hoped it would whilst it was proofing, but it all still turned out okay in the end, and didn't stop the braid from being delicious. I used dry yeast, and next time I do this I will activate it separately in a little warm water before mixing it through, in the hopes that it will work a bit better.
This has made me realise how much work my rolling pin skills require.
apricot and apple braid
modified (and veganised) from my kitchen snippets
2 heaped cups of baker's flour
1/4 cup of sugar (I used castor sugar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dry/powdered yeast
1 chinese soup spoon apple sauce
half ish cup of soy milk
100g melted nuttelex/vegan margarine
3 green apples (peeled and sliced)
1 heaped tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
quarter cup lemon juice
a smidge of nuttelex
third of a cup of sultanas
some large dollops of apricot jam
plus extra soymilk + apple sauce for glazing
To make the dough, mix flour, sugar, salt and yeast (for reference, in future I will mix the yeast with a little sugar and some warm water separately and ten minutes in advance, before progressing with this step). Combine the melted nuttelex with the soy milk and the apple sauce. Then knead it all together! Knead it for at least ten or fifteen minutes, before covering it and putting it in the fridge for the day or over night.
To make the filling (the next day ish), start by soaking the sultanas in a little hot water whilst you prep the apples. Then in a sauce pan melt the nuttelex and throw in the apples with the brown sugar and the cinnamon. After the apples have softened, add the sultanas (drained) and the lemon juice. Smush it all together, then set aside to cool.
Hopefully the dough has risen! Punch it down and knead it some more on a floured surface. Roll it out until it's a giant rectangle, and quite thin (as in, height-wise, not width-wise). Image it divided in to three long thin rectangles, and then cut two centimetre strips in to the two outside rectangles, towards the centre. Check out the pictures in the post at My Kitchen Snippits if you're confused about what I'm describing.
Across the middle, spread all the jam. Put the apple mixture over the top of this, and make sure it's all evenly distributed. From one end, fold in alternating sides so it looks sort of like a plait. Fold at an angle. Plait them as close together as you can - leave too big a gap and the delicious juices run out and cover the bottom of the baking tray and gets all sticky every where. Seal the ends, and leave (covered) to rise for about half an hour to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 175C, glaze the braid with the soy milk + apple sauce combination (just mix the two together well before brushing on), and bake for about half an hour. On fan-forced I only required just under 25 minutes for it to be golden coloured.
Cool then eat.