Easy Braided Bread Recipe

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Ooooh yeah! Who doesn’t like fresh hot bread?!

The notion of making bread used to scare the bajeebers out of me. Notice it used to? I was given a bread machine forever ago. You know, a “box-like” machine where you dump all the ingredients in and hit the start button? Out pops a beautiful loaf…(for me, only rarely!) I never understood why I’d have a nice loaf of bread one time and then the next time the bread would come out so flat the only thing it was good for was to shoot skeet with! I lost confidence. Baking bread became frustrating, something I was too afraid to mess up on, so I stopped baking. (Insert sad face here*) Once I learned about yeast and the proper way to use it, the fear went away. Let the bread baking commence!

Just learning a couple of simple steps/tips, changed my view-point. I am no pro bread baker, but let me tell you this, if I can bake this bread, anyone can too! And once you do, you may find it very difficult to buy bread again. The taste of homemade bread is well…bake a loaf, and you will see what I mean.

Here goes…(Entire recipe is near the bottom of the post.)

Add the salt to the flour.

Add the salt to the flour. Pink salt! Yep this is Himalayan Pink salt. Not only is it pretty, it’s good for you!

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This is what yeast looks like when it’s alive and active! Well yeast doesn’t get like this on its own. This mix has warm milk, honey, and of course yeast. If you want to check out some fun info about honey, lookΒ here. Β Tip: If your yeast doesn’t look like this after about 15 minutes then check the yeast expiration date; it may be old. Or the temp of the liquid could have been too hot and subsequently killed it. Or if temp is too cold the yeast says, “Nope, still hibernating”.

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Make a well in the flour. It should look like you pushed a ball in the center of the flour or basically scooped out some from the middle. (I’m only saying this because some of us don’t know what it means to make a well…) I hope that was a decent explanation. Pour the readied yeast mixture into the “well”.

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Don’t stir yet…add the lightly whisked egg…

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Now stir! Stir from the outside in, as in with each stir you will be pulling a spoonful of the flour into the liquid. Stir until you get a “rough” dough. Not like this… Notice the mug? Its made by Molly Hatch. Super cute right?! Bought it at Anthropologie.

Roughly looks like this! :)

More this. Rough mixed dough looks like this! πŸ™‚

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Dump the rough mixed dough onto a lightly floured surface. Begin to knead. And knead. And knead.

Kneed the dough until nice smooth.

Knead the dough until smooth. It could be smoother than this πŸ˜‰ Put the dough in a large clean bowl, covering it with a clean cloth. Set it aside in a warm place until…

This is what the dough looks like when it's doubled in size.

…It doubles in size. This is what the dough looks like when it’s doubled in size. It’s like magic!

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This was a second loaf I made. This time I separated the dough in three pieces right after I kneaded it. I knew I would be braiding it using three “strands” so I figured I’d separate it into three balls before the dough could rise. It worked out very well. So you can either let the dough rise in one ball and then cut it into three equal pieces or cut it in three before it rises; and cover each bowl with a clean cloth and let them rise as usual. Both works!

After the dough doubles in size, turn out the dough onto a clean surface and shape it into three long "bread sticks"!

After the dough doubles in size, turn out the dough onto a clean surface and shape it into three long “bread sticks”. Braid it like you would any braid, carefully tucking each end piece under to hold the “strands” in place. Notice my strands are not totally smooth…no worries still comes out great and tastes even better! In other words; perfection is not necessary.

All braided.

All braided! Put the braided bread on a greased cookie sheet/baking pan. I use coconut oil to grease pan as coconut oil has a high heat tolerance, not to mention very healthy.

Now don't forget to brush on the "glaze". If you do, it's not ruined. I've done this a few time! Fresh hot bread is still fresh hot bread. The glaze just makes it look so pretty!

Now don’t forget to brush on the “glaze”. If you do forget the “glaze”, it’s not ruined. I’ve forgotten it more than once! Fresh hot bread is still fresh hot bread! The glaze just makes it look so pretty!

You can slice this or tear it!

You can slice into this from top to bottom, or cut along the side, or tear it!

Homemade butter on fresh hot bread! Oh my! You can see how I make homemade butter here!

Homemade butter on fresh hot bread! Oh my! You can see how I make homemade butter here!

Note: All ingredients I use are organic/non GMO, or the very best I could find. Stores are starting to catch on how much consumers want organic. Finding most ingredients/foods in an organic form is quite possible.

Braided Loaf

The Ingredients:

2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 cup whole warm milk

2 teaspoons good honey

4 tablespoons butter, softened (melted is fine too)

1 whole egg, lightly beaten

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt or sea salt

For the glaze: 1 egg yolk beaten with 2 teaspoon milk. I make it ahead and store it in the refrigerator.

The How To:

1. Heat the milk in a small sauce pan. It’s been years since I’ve used a thermometer. I test it by touch. (It’s ready when it doesn’t feel cold. Warm, a bit over tepid temperature), however if you want to use a thermometer about 105 degrees is about right. (If the temp gets too high just take it off the heat and wait until it cools.) Β In a medium bowl, mix the honey and soften/melted butter. Add the warm milk. Then add the yeast. Stir slowly until nicely combined. Leave for 15 to allow it to work its magic!

2. While you are waiting for the yeast mixture, in a large bowl, add the flour. Stir in the salt. Make a well in the center and set aside.

3. In a small dish, add one egg and whip it slightly. Set aside.

4. After the 15 minutes your yeast mixture should be nice and bubbly/alive looking. Pour the yeast mixture gently in the flour well. Add the beaten egg. Now with a wooden spoon, stir pulling some flour with each stir, until a rough dough is created.

5. Lightly flour a clean surface and knead dough until smooth. Place in a large clean bowl, and cover with a clean cloth. Find a warm spot for it to rise. I usually am cooking something so next to the stove is a good place. You know it’s ready when it doubles in size; usually around 2 hours (Depending on how warm the spot is. Sometimes it’s ready in an hour, sometimes it takes 3.)

6. Grease a baking sheet. As I’ve mentioned above, I like to use coconut oil.

7. Turn out the finished rising dough on a clean surface and cut it into three equal pieces. Begin to roll each into long strands; like a long bread stick. After all three strands are made, start braiding them together. I fold the pieces under and it holds just fine. Set the braided bread on the greased pan. Cover it with a clean cloth and let it sit for 30 minutes in a warm spot to rise.

8. Preheat the oven to 375Β°F. I usually start preheating oven about 20 minutes into the braided bread’s rising.

9. Brush the bread with the egg yolk and milk mixture.

10. Bake bread for 30 minutes. You will know it’s done by the golden color.Β Every oven is different, so start checking at 25 minutes for color. I’ve baked this bread for 35 minutes and it was still fine. For my oven; 30 is perfect! When done, I remove the bread and set it on a wire rack to cool. Cool completely if storing it in any container, because if you don’t, it will get soggy! If storing is not needed, dig right in while it’s warm. Now for a bit of homemade butterΒ and good jam or honey…oh my!

This is a great bread to go with soups or stews. You can make garlic bread with this or top it with cheese. You can add cheese into the dough! This is great sliced for toast too. It makes for a great egg sandwich bread. And if there’s any bread left a couple of days later…tear it up and make it into a strata! Want a recipe for a strata? Mention it in your comments below. πŸ™‚

This bread is a great bread to gift to family and friends and great to serve up anytime bread is called for. It’s very enjoyable toΒ make and the presentation is lovely. Give it a try!

Thank you for reading. If you want to know what else I’m up to, you can always follow me on twitter and instagram!

Wherever you are, don’t forget to pull your shoulders back, smile boldly, and breathe! My hopes for you this week is for your to find your center and enjoy something that makes you happy.

Cheers, Koko

Please “like”, “share”, and “follow”. Your comments are fantastic and I read everyone!

 

 

 

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101 thoughts on “Easy Braided Bread Recipe

    • Wow lemon meringue! You are awesome. My brother loves lemon meringue! It’s his favorite! I had a post on all the types of salts and have no clue where it went…I wrote it a couple years ago! I guess I will have to write another. Himalayan “pink” salt is really an amazing salt. The only one I use really. So nice to hear from you Charlotte. I’d love to blog way more than I do, but real life needs my constant attention! πŸ˜‰ I’ve got to pop on over to see what you’ve been up to! Take care Sweetie! πŸ™‚

  1. Oh my gosh, that looks so great – I am powerless against fresh, freshly buttered bread. Beautiful loaf, and handmade, no less! I use my electric mixer’s dough hook when I make bread for the heavy kneading part, but I find bread makers pretty useless – everything comes out tasting sort of flat.

    • Yes, I tossed the bread maker many moons ago! I am so stretched for time, but I’d love to bake bread daily if I could. I too am powerless when it comes to fresh baked bread. OMG and just simple butter melted on top! I could eat the whole darn loaf! Maybe it’s a good thing I don’t have time to bake often. Hahaha. Gorgeous sunshine here. I think I am going to go out and garden. Rained all day yesterday. It’s good to see you over here Sandra. Hope your day is amazing! πŸ˜€

  2. I’ve been baking bread for more than 25 years (and, yes, it pains me to admit it’s been that long and I’m that old). When I met my wife, I started making challah, besides all of the other breads I make. She’s Jewish and we’ve raised our kids in that faith. Challah is the traditional Jewish bread. Challah actually is the Hebrew word for bread. Challah is a braided bread very similar to what you made, except for a lot more honey and egg. So, for more than 20 years, I’ve been making something similar to your braided bread and, yes, there is nothing better than homemade bread. Keep it up. There is nothing to fear in bread making. πŸ™‚ https://kingmidgetramblings.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/friday-night-challah/

    • I too have been baking that long! Gah…oh how the years creep up on you! I have messed around with this basic bread recipe and have added a lot more honey. Hey perhaps I’ve been making Challah and didn’t know it! Isn’t it neat how many foods blend together? How similar some of the foods we eat from one nationality to another? Pretty neat if you ask me. Nice to see you here! How’s the running going? The weather has been muggy, but tolerable here and I’m getting a ton of yard work in though I am no where near catching up to what the winter has done to my property! Take care!!!!! πŸ˜€ And I will check out your bread! πŸ˜‰ Thank you for sharing.

    • Once you’ve baked a loaf or two the scary mystery goes away. Just got to get the yeast right (if baking a yeast bread) and you’re set! Isn’t it so difficult to buy bread anymore once you’ve baked your own? Also knowing what’s in my food is a huge factor for me! I could eat fresh bread daily! Good thing I don’t have too many projects that take up my time! Hahaha! Glad you stopped by Jason! Hope you have a great day! πŸ˜€

      • I don’t see a reason to buy bread anymore. It’s just so simple to make my own. I like knowing what’s in my food also. Have a lovely day hun!

      • Don’t you feel the same goes for making tortillas too? So easy. Yes, it takes a minute or 10, but knowing what’s in our food is so important! Thank you and back at ya for a lovely day! It has to be! The sun is out, I’ve got a few dogs at my feet…I get to reply to wonderful people like you! Yep…day is getting lovelier by the second! Hugs to you! Koko πŸ™‚

  3. Koko, this is a beautiful loaf of bread…mmm mmm mmm so good..

    Take care and happy baking to ya, from Laura

    • Laura it is so yummy! I’ve messed with this basic recipe over the years. It’s a good thing I don’t have the time to bake often! Hahaha. It’s been a wild couple of weeks for me here. Then again, when you have 13 four legged fur babies, it’s always wild! Wonderful to see you here as always πŸ™‚ Hugs, Koko

      • Koko, no wonder you’re so busy. I had no idea you had a bakers dozen of four legged fur babies to take care of and love. What a joy it must be for you.

        Take care my dear and happy blogging to ya, from Laura ~

      • Yes a fun loving, crazy, happy bunch. I must blog about the story of how it all came to be! I am on my toes from the moment the sun comes up until, oh about…1-2 am! Hugs, Koko πŸ™‚ P.S. And hmmm, I might title it: “How the Bakers Dozen Came to Be!” Stay Awesome Laura! Really, you seem to be able to always make me smile! πŸ™‚

      • Koko, I’m jumping with excitement over your post about the Bakers Dozen.. I think this will be a wonderful, loving story.. Can’t wait…. hugs to ya my dear, from Laura ~

    • Thank you so much! I remember a gazillion years ago making my first bread! As the saying goes…”I’ve come a long way baby.” Though I am not a pro by any stretch of the word, I do have a lot more fun! It’s wonderful to have you here! And thank you for taking the time to comment. You’ve made my day! Take care! πŸ™‚ Koko

    • Hi Gaia! Yeah I totally want to bake a loaf right now! Sadly, i’ve got a list a mile long that needs my attention more! πŸ™‚ The sun it out and all the dogs are begging for my attention too. Maybe a walk with each one and a hunk of bread in the other hand! I do have some left over! Pop it in the toaster and slap some butter and jam on top! Wow…now you’ve really got me hungry! Hahaha…thank you for stopping by Gaia! Hugs to you and have a happy day! πŸ™‚ Koko

    • Uniform can be impressive, however…any bread out of the oven still tastes amazing! πŸ˜‰ Perhaps my luck is from braiding my own hair! I hope you will continue baking bread. Have an awesome Wednesday and thank you kindly for commenting! Koko

  4. It sounds simple; that always gets me nervous! It looks absolutely marvelous. Keep your fingers crossed for my success!
    Thank you for visiting my blog site as well. I hope to see you back in the future. Stay healthy and happy.

    • It really is easy! I am a super busy gal that rarely sit still. I’m telling you if I can do this, so can you! I am wishing you the best in a successful loaf! I made French onion soup last night and I took this bread and sliced it in 1/2 inch slices, buttered them. Tossed em in the oven under the broiler 2 minutes. Ladled out the soup and layer two slices of this bread on top with shredded New Zealand cheese. Okay point is this bread is versatile. Do it! πŸ˜‰ I’m happy you came by. Healthy and happy is the way to be! Take care! Koko

      • I loved your response. My personality is slow moving, methodical and very focused. You seem more like a multi-tasker who would find 10 minutes of inactivity stressful. Put the two of our personalities together and we likely have a well balanced individual. πŸ™‚ Looking forward to future postings!

      • I do need to force myself to take a slow moment. I guess I equate “do nothing” with lazy. I do multi-tasking to get things done. My down time is jogging on the treadmill while watching Netflix! I should read more of your posts. I know I could learn something about slow-down πŸ˜‰ Hope your weekend is amazing! I’m building concrete steps! πŸ˜‰

    • I only buy it when I’m desperate! Hahaha. It’s just wonderful to know what’s in the foods you eat. Good to see you here Nadine. I hope your day is a lovely one! I’ve been outside chasing butterflies with my puppy! Hugs! Koko πŸ™‚

      • Oh, I love that – chasing butterflies with your furbabies. I know mine would love doing that, too. πŸ™‚

        You’re right. It’s better when you control what goes into your food. You’re inspiring me to become more self-sufficient where my food is concerned. I prepare my meals, yes, but not when it comes to staples like bread, nut milks, among others. At least we grow some stuff that we eat.

        Cheers, love, and keep chasing butterflies. xoxo

      • Doesn’t veggies taste better when you grow them yourself!? Like tomatoes; So good right off the vine! Every bit helps and you keeping s garden is fantastic. I’m still learning how to grow nice plants. Everywhere I move to is a new learning curve! Have a lovely day Nadine. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Sophie! Braiding the bread was super fun. I noticed your a vegan; I have other breads I make that are vegan too, I will make a point to post! It’s wonderful having you here! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Bloggers like you keep me going! Enjoy your evening!!! πŸ™‚

      • Ahhh! Sorry my mistake. I eat according to the way I feel. There are some days I mostly have liquids. Activity level also is a big part to how I eat. I apologize again for the mistake. πŸ™‚

  5. Oh now I want bread! Freshly baked and braded πŸ™‚ This is how my grandma used to make her “coffee bread”. You have more (and healthier) ingredients, but the look was exactly the same.

    • Sometimes you have to toss healthy to the wind. What’s life if you can’t live a little? I bet grandmas coffee bread was amazing! It’s been insanely busy over here atkokosplace. Real life has me running around like a chicken with my head cut off! I am missing all your posts and believe me when I tell you just how much I MISS them! I need to set some me time aside and a cup of tea and your blog! Seeing you here always makes me smile. Hugs, Koko πŸ™‚

    • The house smelled amazing. The warm smells permeated through every room! It was delightful! Nice to have you here Amy! Please come back again. I’m off to check out your blog! Yay! πŸ˜€

  6. I need to write down the recipe and try it later. Baking has always been my weakness and only God knows where I can find really good yeast in this part of the world! (LOL!)

      • I’ve been super busy with all the cooking and training a new guy at work. The positive thing is that new guy is a good kid and I learned a lot of new culture things from him. πŸ™‚

      • I’m super excited. Hari really look into publishing. You can do it yourself for minimal cost and you can even have them printed on demand. But your book would make an excellent coffee table book. Large with your wonderful illustrations. I would want one. It’s part of my culture too! πŸ™‚

      • Ah, yes, I am very interested into writing books of old tales.

        I will learn more about online publishing! πŸ˜€

    • Thank you! Yeah, I have to be careful when I bake this I don’t eat the whole thing! If I make homemade butter…I’m done for! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for popping in. Have a great weekend to come! Koko:)

    • Try it. It taste so good. It makes a nice bread pudding too if you don’t eat the loaf be fire it starts to stale. Oh and French toast too! πŸ˜‰ happy you made it by. Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

  7. Cool thing! I have NEVER ever baked something with yeast (somehow I am too afraid that I might kill it) … but this looks really easy! I think I’m gonna try it out and I hope I’ll get something out of it! πŸ™‚

    • I was scared at first too. When he yeast doesn’t froth you have to ask yourself two things… Did I use too hot of water or milk— or is the yeast too old. Just give it a try. This bread is really yummy and great for many things. And if you don’t eat it all, it makes for a great bread pudding or many other dishes that call for day or two old bread! It’s great toasted too (even if bread is a little old.) Also keeps in the refrigerator. I appreciate you commenting and reading. Take care!

  8. Oh my….I shouldn’t have opened this post page….gluten doesn’t love me….but your bread looks so perfect…I would say…stooooop….don’t eat it…you share a bunch of great healthy ideas…from Himalayan salt…to coconut oil…..to homemade butter…arggggggg….great post!!!

    • I am such a sucker for a good bread. I am learning now to make “wild yeast”. Back to how bread was made way back when. So far, so good, the yeast is growing. I can’t wait to share it with you all! Thank you for checking it out! Have an awesome day and weekend to come! πŸ™‚

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