Nothing like some fresh homemade Bread on the weekend. I don’t eat a lot of bread but my kids love bread and I have run out of store bought bread. I know when they wake up this morning they are going to look for bread. So my Braided Bread was the perfect alternative, nothing beats homemade.
This Braided Bread was soft and delicious. I couldn’t resist eating a slice of warm bread with a spread of butter. I am definitely going to make bread more often from now on. I absolutely love it and it’s definitely a labour of love.
Using a stand mixer does make bread baking so much easier but its perfectly ok to use your hands. The kneading is important when you’re looking for a soft bread. I must admit using bread flour is best for breads.
It has a high protein content which helps with gluten development. It also gives bread a little stretch and chew. However, in saying all of this I have used Cake Wheat Flour and it works perfectly fine too. If you’re not in SA you can use all purpose flour.
Bread Flour, Cake Wheat Flour or All Purpose Flour, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, milk and water. I did not use any eggs in my bread and it still tasted great.
How to make the Bread
I usually add all my dry ingredients to a stand mixer, give it a quick mix and then add my liquids and soft butter. Knead for 5- 6 minutes in a stand mixer or slightly longer by hand. Let it rise for 1 hour or less, depending on the environment. The warmer the environment the quicker the rise.
After the first rise I divide the dough into 3 pieces, roll them out into logs and braid them. It has to rise for a second time for about 30 minutes and then it is baked at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.
You can also choose to make these into smaller bread rolls if you wish.
I prefer to use instant dry yeast, it is so much easier and I never have any fails using this. My favorite is the Anchor Yeast in the purple packet. It’s what I have been using forever and it works for me.
For a quick rise I usually heat my oven at 100 degrees Celsius for a few minutes, just until I feel the oven is heating up and then turn it off. I then place my dough in the oven and it rise much quicker than an hour.
If you do try my Braided Bread Recipe please drop me a comment and leave a star rating, it is always appreciated.
More Bread Recipes to try:
- 2&1/4 cup bread flour/cake wheat or all purpose flour
- 1 tsp instant dry yeast
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp butter soft
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water not hot
- 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
- sesame seeds optional
- Using a stand mixer or a large bowl place all the dry ingredients and only 2 cups of the flour in the bowl and mix until combined
- Slowly add the milk and water and start mixing. Add the soft butter and knead for 5-6 minutes on medium speed. If using your hands should take about 8-10 minutes. Add more flour if required. I did use all of the flour
- You should have a soft, silky dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl
- Grease your hands with some oil and remove the dough from the bowl. Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl
- Cover with cling wrap and place in a warm oven or a warm space and let it rise for 1 hour
- After 1 hour punch the dough down with your hands. Divide into 3 pieces and roll into logs, about 30-40cm long
- Attach the 3 pieces together on one side and braid the dough. Should form a 30cm shape
- Brush the bread with some water and press the sesame seeds on top
- Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise again for 30 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. When ready to bake the bread reduce the temperature to 180 degrees Celsius and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown
- Brush the bread with some melted butter
- Cool on a wire rack
- As I always mention weather and altitude plays a huge role in the amount of flour and liquids required in baking so therefore I added a 1/4 cup of extra flour. Some may need it and others may not. I did require all of the flour
- If you are using active yeast you will need to proof it first, you can follow the instructions on the package
- This bread is similar to Jewish Challah Bread except I didn't use eggs and I added milk
- Please ensure that your water and milk is not hot or it will kill the yeast
- Homemade bread will never stay soft as store bought bread the next day. Store bought bread obviously has a whole lot of preservatives to keep bread soft. However you can spray bread with some water and pop it in the oven for a few minutes to have fresh bread again