Braided Bread

Time

Prep:

25 minutes

Cooking:

50 minutes

Rest:

5+ Hours

Nutrition Information

Servings: 18

Calories per serving: 134 kcal

Calories per 100g: 269 kcal

Ingredients

500g Flour

300ml Milk

60g Butter

20g Fresh Yeast

2 tsp Salt

1 Egg

A little extra Milk

Instructions

Dough

Weigh out the flour in a large bowl and measure out the salt, making sure to mix this well with the flour. Measure and weight out the milk, butter and yeast. Add the yeast and a few spoonfuls of the milk into a small mug, mixing until the mixture becomes liquid. Meanwhile, on low heat, warm the rest of the milk and the butter in a small saucepan until the butter is just melted*. Make sure the milk and butter mixture is just slightly warm, as it could kill the yeast if it’s too hot. Mix together the warmed milk and butter mixture with the thinned out yeast until everything is disolved, before adding this into the bowl with the flour and salt. Begin to mix the wet ingredients into the dry with a fork and then continue with well-washed hands. If you find the mixture is too wet to handle, make sure all the ingrendients are mixed in and then let it rest covered for at least 30 minutes.

Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes, making sure that the dough is smooth and can be formed into a ball, covering again and letting it rest for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight, in a warm place.

Braid

After the dough has rested, knock out the air and split it into 4 parts. Roll out the parts into quarry long strands and lay them onto a lined baking sheet. Braid them together by folding the outer left strand under the middle left, over the middle right and under the outer right strands. Continue the braid by folding what was the outer right strand under and over again until it becomes the outer left strand. Repeat this until the braid is complete and fold the ends under to make them even**. Let this rest for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, whisk together the egg and extra milk until they are smooth and lightly spread this onto the braid to help it brown.

Bake

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius and place the baking sheet with the braid on the bottom rack for 20 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 150 degrees celsius, move the baking sheet to a the middle rack and continue baking for 30 minutes, or until the bread has a crunchy bottom*** and the middle has baked through.

Serve

Enjoy with savoury or sweet toppings, some examples might be butter, hummus & scrambled eggs**** or chocolate spread.

Storage

Store for up to 5 days in a food safe plastic bag, bread bag or container on the counter. Slide as needed, this will allow the bread to keep for longer. Alternatively, freeze for up to 3 months, I recommend pre-slicing the bread in this case, as slides can then be defrosted as needed.

Notes

*Alternatively, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, once its just melted, turn off the heat and add the milk, then it should have the right temperature.

**For a different braid, feel free to use 3 strands and braid as usual (alternating between folding the left and right strands over the middle), again making sure to fold under the ends.

I’ll be publishing a tutorial soon on how the dough should look at the different stages and braiding options.

***To test this, take the braid out of the oven, turn it over and knock lightly on the bottom, if it sounds hollow, it should be crunchy.

I personally baked my braid at 220 for 20 minutes and 180 for another 30, however found that this made the outside too crunchy, so the temperatures in the recipe are based on advice from a friend who’s experienced at baking this kind of bread.

****Why not use the leftover egg and milk mixture to make scrambled eggs as a topping for the bread.

I’m working on vegan and gluten free options.