Braided Bread Loaves are so much prettier than just a regular loaf of bread. And as long as you’re going to the effort to make your own, you ought to take just takes a minute or two to braid it like a pro! (You could even use ready made frozen dough that has been thawed.) You will impress your neighbors when you take them a fresh baked braided loaf.
Divide your dough in half and roll out 2 long ropes, each about 30″ long. Cross one over the other to form an “X”.
Fold over the rope underneath like this
As you will see, the rope on the far left is underneath. Start by weaving the left rope over the next rope, then under the next, then over the last rope.
Continue braiding from the left, Over under, over under.
When you have reached the ends, tuck them under and place the braided loaf into a greased loaf pan and brush with egg wash (1 beaten egg + 1 T. water.) Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise until double in size.
Bake 30-35 minutes at 350° or until golden. (You may need to cover the loaf with foil during the last 10 minutes or so to prevent it from over browning.)
Allow to cool 5 minutes in the pan and remove to a wire rack.
There’s nothing like warm bread out of the oven!
I have been asked to include the recipe for my white bread pictured above. (You can use any white bread recipe to do this braiding technique…)
This recipe will make 3 loaves!
2 pkgs. yeast
2 c. warm water
4 T. sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 c. milk, scalded and cooled
4 t. salt
5 T. shortening
12 c. flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, egg, milk, salt, shortening and half of the flour. Mix well. Add enough of the remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle. Knead 10 minutes (if using bread mixer, add only enough flour to clean the sides of the mixing bowl. Mix on high 6 minutes).
Let rise until double. Punch down and shape into loaves or rolls. Let rise until double. Bake bread 30 – 35 minutes at 350°. You may want to cover the loaf in the last few minutes of baking to prevent over browning.
I also love to use this recipe for my cute twisted breadsticks! Click HERE for the instructions.