Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Braided Bread

One of my gifts to Kate for Christmas was a promise to bake bread with her. For two Saturdays now we have baked this recipe, a sweet bread. I got the recipe from Jen, a friend of mine who really ought to host baking sessions in her home and charge money for her expertise. She is really good.

Like most breads, the ingredients you need are simple. Also, like a lot of breads, time is a factor. That is, you need to carve out time to check on the bread at its various stages and attend to it as necessary. I kind of like this element because we can come back together and really be part of the whole process.

And, like most homemade breads, it tastes fabulous right out of the oven and smeared with butter, the real kind, made from cows' milk.

We have found it a good bread to use for opening our Lord's Day too.

If it happens to not be consumed beforehand.

We have bread thieves in our house that sneak pieces when no one is looking.

Saturday mornings have worked best for us to make this bread. We have managed to carry out the steps in between chores, play, and waiting in a virtual line for over two hours to buy Twins tickets for the 2011 season. Then, when our internet mysteriously "went down" and I was forced to start all over from square one in the virtual line and missed the chance for Yankees vs. Twins tickets on my birthday, I about died. Another two hour wait until I reached the front of the line. Then the clock started ticking and I had to re-group, check and re-check out calendar for alternative dates. It was slim pickings by that time. Next year I am camping out in front of the computer to get a better place in the virtual line. Maybe an iPad would help ease the pain of this loss?

Wait a minute. Was I talking about bread?

Oh yes, baking bread is a great way to spend time with your daughter...that's the point here.

And, here is the recipe.

1 c. warm water
2 pk. yeast
2/3 c. sugar
4-5 c. flour
1 stick of butter, the real kind, from cows' milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. salt
egg wash (Kate's favorite part, well, a close second to the kneading)


Mix water, yeast, 1/3 c. sugar and 2 c. flour in a bowl. Let rise 20 minutes.
(I warm up my oven for a few minutes, then turn it off for the rising process. I cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel.)

Meanwhile, combine 2 c. flour, 1/3 c. sugar, and salt. Cut in butter.

Add eggs to yeast mixture and then work in flour mixture. Knead and add up to one cup flour. It should be a sticky dough.

Let this rise for about 1.5 hours.

Divide dough in half. Roll dough slightly and cut into three strips.
Then braid.

Like this.
This recipe makes two loaves.

We place the loaves on one large baking sheet.
Then cover and let rise another hour.

Glaze with egg wash.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

It will look like this and you will need to use all powers of resistance to save any amount for dinner.
Good Luck!


Jen said...

Does this make 2 loaves like shown? How do you make an egg wash?

We choose to live this life. said...

This recipe makes the two loaves.

An egg wash is simply one egg whisked with a little water and brushed on top of each loaf.

Dan said...

From what I've heard about, many people had similar problems as you did while purchasing Twins tickets. They got to the front of the line and then the site just didn't work. Hopefully it will just work better next year.