Sunday, February 22, 2015


Honey and rum are a great dessert combination. The sharp flavour of rum is pleasantly cut by the richness and sweetness of the honey. If you like, you can glaze the braids with honey right after they come out of the oven. That will give them more sweetness and flavour, as well as glossiness.
Do not be tempted to add more rum to the dough, though, because it will turn out too bitter. They are excellent hot from the oven, but I do recommend letting them cool down a tad, so the rum doesn't overpower the flavour.

Honey rum braids

400 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons dried yeast
½ teaspoon salt
150 ml warm milk
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons rum
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Sift the flour twice, then take out about 100 grams (about 3/4 cup) and put the rest of the flour in a large bowl. Add the yeast and salt and whisk well. Whisk the egg until lighter in colour, then slowly drizzle in the warm milk, whisking the whole time. Add the honey, vanilla and rum and blend well. Make a well in the centre of the flour, pour in the wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead the dough for at least 5 minutes, adding the reserved flour as you knead. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Place it into a large oiled bowl and let it rise in a warm spot for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, gently knead it on a floured surface to release all the air, then weigh it and divide it into two equal parts. Divide the dough parts into how ever many strands you like and braid them together. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Place the braids on a large baking sheet lined with baking paper and let them rise for another 30 minutes. Just before baking, brush them with the oil and bake in a preheated oven, at 200˚C (400˚F) for 15-18 minutes. Yields 4 servings. ©Tina Vesić