01 of 10
Getting Started to Braid Your Bread
There is something about a braided piece of bread that looks delicate, decadent, and absolutely professional. If you're new to whipping together your favorite breads, you may think that this technique is hard to achieve. However, it's actually quite easy and once you know how to do it, you'll be baking braided bread for you and the rest of your family!
- 1 cup warm milk (no hotter than 110 F)
- 1/2 cup/1 stick butter or margarine
- 1 cup sugar (or less, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 eggs plus 1 egg (at room temperature, beaten)
- 5 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 1 cup golden raisins
Makes 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
02 of 10
Combine Scalded Milk With Next 3 Ingredients
Add butter, sugar, and salt to scalded milk. Stir to combine and let cool to lukewarm (110 F).Continue to 3 of 10 below.
03 of 10
Place Ingredients in a Stand Mixer or Large Bowl
Place yeast and warm water (110 F) in the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl. With the paddle attachment, mix until dissolved. Add lukewarm milk mixture and 2 eggs, and combine.
Add flour and continue to mix until smooth, three to five minutes. Add raisins and thoroughly combine. The dough will be sticky.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
04 of 10
Place Dough in Greased Bowl
Transfer dough to a clean, greased bowl. Turn dough over to grease the top and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free place and let rise until double (about one hour). You can also learn how to microwave your dough between rises to help cut down on your rising time.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Punch Dough Down and Place on Work Surface
When the dough has risen, punch it down and turn out onto a lightly floured board. The less flour you use, the better the bread will be.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
06 of 10
If making one large loaf, divide the dough into three equal pieces. If making two loaves, divide the dough into two equal pieces and divide each of the two pieces into three equal pieces, for a total of six pieces.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
07 of 10
Roll Each Piece Into a Long Rope
Roll each piece of dough into a rope about 14 inches long. Use three ropes per bread.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
08 of 10
Start braiding from the top, as you would for a plait of hair.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Let Braided Bread Rise Until Double
Heat the oven to 350 F. Let the bread rise, loosely covered with plastic wrap, until doubled in volume, 45 minutes to an hour.
Brush lightly with remaining beaten egg. Bake 30 minutes or until the instant-read thermometer registers 190 F when placed in the middle of the loaf.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
10 of 10
Enjoy This Slightly Sweet Bread
Remove bread from the oven. When completely cool, slice and serve. If you have leftovers, they're great in bread pudding.
These braiding techniques can be applied to braided egg bread known variously as Czech vanocka, Polish chałka, Jewish challah, and Hungarian fonott kalacs.