Saturday, July 19, 2014

Braided Bread

Instead of the usual shopping therapy, I have spent the last few Friday nights undergoing "bread-making therapy."  The process of kneading, waiting..., kneading again, sipping wine on more waiting..., and finally the exciting sound of the alarm timer, the smell of the bread, and the sight of brown crust of the final products are deeply therapeutic (in fact a little bit addictive).  The whole experience relaxes me (or... is it just the wine?).

I usually began these nights by first "parking" my little boy and husband outside of the kitchen, i.e. let them watch TV together.  Then I hid myself baking wonderful things....

Tonight that thing was braided bread.  

Here’s the youtube link where I learnt how to braid six strands of bread dough.

Braided bread (Original recipe here)


250ml tepid water
7g instant yeast (1x sachet)
5 egg yolks, room temperature
2 T rice bran oil
4 T caster sugar
550g bread flour (High gluten flour)
1 tsp salt

1 beaten egg
sesame seeds


1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over barely warm water. Beat in sugar, oil,egg yolks, and salt. Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Cover with a damp clean cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in bulk. (I placed all ingredients into the kitchen aid, and knead at slow speed for 15 minutes)
2. Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto floured board. Knead for five minutes or so, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky (Again, the kitchenaid did most of the work here). Divide in half. Divide each half into six and roll into long strands about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Pinch the ends of the six strands together firmly and braid.Grease two baking trays and place finished braid on it. Cover with towel and let rise about half an hour.
3.Preheat oven to 180 C.
4. Beat the remaining egg and brush a generous amount over each braid. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired.
5. Bake for about 40 minutes. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a rack before slicing.

Give this recipe a go! It will fill your house with the delightful smell of fresh bread, and make you feel GOOD.

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