Alex’s Savoury Tricolour Plait

IMG_1051aMore Alex-Daddy quality cooking time over the holidays.  This time it started with an early morning awakening  “Daddy, I want to make a 3 coloured plaited loaf.  It will have basil and paprika and something yellow.  Let’s make it today!”.  With a little bit of thought, I came up with the following, and it has to be one of the best savoury loves I’ve made!  I have to admit, Alex’s original idea was inspired.  Both the paprika and the basil strands are wonderful.  I’ve just added a bit of interest

Makes 1 large loaf


  • 750g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 14g Fast Action Yeast
  • 12g Salt
  • 535ml Water
  • 50ml Olive Oil
  • 1 small Onion, finely chopped
  • 75g Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 small Red Pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 50g Pistachio Kernals, roughly chopped
  • 1 pot of Basil, leaves picked and roughly chopped


  • In a large bowl, add the flour, then the salt and yeast.  Roughly mix before adding the oil and water
  • Mix well in the bowl with your hands or a palette knife before turning out the dough onto a lightly oiled surface
  • Knead the dough well until smooth and the gluten starts to form. Don’t worry if it seems quite sticky – be persistent.  Use extra oil on the surface and on your hands but don’t be tempted to add any extra flour
  • After about 10 minutes the dough should be well mixed with a smooth, elastic consistency.  Add a little oil to the bowl and return the dough.  Cover with cling film and leave to rise for about an hour
  • Meanwhile, prepare the 3 fillings.  First of all, in a small pan gently fry off the onion with a little olive oil.  When softened and very slightly golden, set aside
  • In the same pan, fry off the red pepper and paprika for a couple of minutes in a little more oil.  When softened, set aside
  • When the dough has risen, turn out of the bowl and break into 3 even pieces.  Take each in turn and knock out the air by rolling gently into an even ‘log’, before shaping into a flat rectangle.
  • Sprinkle the onion and parmesan over the dough and fold back up.  Knead gently to encourage the mixture throughout the dough – you’re not looking to create layers, then set aside
  • Repeat with the remaining dough, adding the basil and pistachio to one, and the pepper and paprika to the last
  • Form each piece of dough into a neat, even ‘log’, about 40cm long
  • Crimp the 3 pieces together at one end and neatly plait the dough tightly to form your loaf
  • Crimp the ends together to prevent it unravelling and place on a baking sheet dusted with flour or semolina
  • Cover with cling film and leave to prove for about an hour, when it should have doubled in size again.
  • Bake in a preheated oven, 200oC Fan, for about 35 minutes until golden brown
  • Allow to cool before serving

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