Ingredients ¼ cup warm water
1 sachet of dry yeast
¼ cup caster sugar
3 cups plain flour
½ tsp salt
57g softened butter
1/3 cup milk
2 70g eggs
¼ tsp vanilla bean paste
Cooking oil spray
Extra butter for greasing
¼ cup cinnamon sugar
½ tsp nutmeg
A pinch of cardamom
A pinch of all spice
Begin by activating the yeast.
Yeast is a living thing and it is possible to kill it. Use a kitchen thermometer to check your warm water is between 41 and 46°C. Too cool and it won’t activate. Too hot and it will die. Add a couple of pinches of caster sugar, then gently stir in the yeast. Let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is frothy.
In a large bowl sift your flour, salt and the rest of your caster sugar.
Mix in the activated yeast, vanilla, softened butter and beaten eggs.
I used my electric mixer and dough hook to mix and knead the dough because this is a sticky dough, but you can do it by hand if you prefer.
Spray a clean bowl with cooking oil spray.
Put the dough into your oiled bowl and cover with cling film.
Allow the dough to proof for at least an hour or until it has doubled in size.
Sprinkle flour over a clean work surface.
Knead, roll and punch the dough to deflate it, then return to your bowl and cover for another thirty minutes.
For the filling, put the butter and into a saucepan and melt it, then add the spices and stir on medium heat for a few minutes.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is 3mm thick.
Use a pastry brush to paint the spiced butter onto the dough and sprinkle with some caster sugar.
Grease a loaf tin with butter and cut the dough into pieces that you stack into the tin. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar on top.
Place some cling film over the top but leave the edges loose so the dough can rise uninhibited for 30 to 45 minutes.
Your dough should have risen above the sides of your loaf tin before you put it in the oven.
Preheat your oven to 180°C and bake the loaf for 30 to 35 minutes.
You can see I left my loaf in the oven just a touch too long as it got a tiny bit burned.
Everyone still loved this loaf though! It’s worth the time it takes to wait for dough to proof.