Craftsy Cakes

Homemade bread is always a treat to have and the kids love to help with kneading, shaping, and most certainly eating it fresh from the oven, this braided bread is no different. It’s easier than it looks to create the braid, and it looks too good coming out of the oven all golden and puffed up!

People usually get intimidated from baking bread because of the process it takes and there’s always the question of whether it will rise. I have two easy tips for you to keep in mind if you want to bake your own bread; first, always use your yeast within 6 months of its production date, after that toss it and buy a new one. Even if the yeast is not expired but has been in your cupboard for more than 6 months it will not work as well as a new bottle. The second thing is that the dough needs ample time to rise so make sure you plan it in advance or a few hours before you intend to serve. If you plan the process ahead of time, you won’t put it off as a long ordeal that won’t be ready in time.

I usually make homemade Mana’eesh (Eastern Mediterranean flatbread) and this braided bread recipe which can also be used as a flatbread. It’s light, fluffy, and just as delicious as it looks. You can stuff the braided bread with any sort of cheese, I used feta cheese with olive oil and dried mint, or you can use it as a flatbread with your preferred topping, but make sure to roll it thin. I’ve included a short video showing you how to braid it.

 

 

 

 

 

Braided Bread Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the egg wash put one egg in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of water

Instructions

  1. Mix the warm water, yeast, and sugar together in your bowl and let them sit for 5 minutes
  2. Add to the yeast mixture the olive oil, flour, and salt. If you have a stand mixer, knead for 2 minutes in the mixer until it forms a dough, then turn out onto a dusted work surface and knead for a further 5 minutes
  3. If you don’t have a stand mixer just knead it by hand for 7 minutes on your dusted work surface.
  4. Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray or brush lightly with oil and cover it with cling film or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour. This dough doesn’t have a second rise (nice and easy).
  5. Once ready to bake, preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius and prepare a flat oiled pan.
  6. Finally, knead the dough for another minute, then divide the dough into 3 portions. If you’re not filling the dough skip ahead to point no. 9
  7. Roll each portion of dough into long strands and put them next to each other, make sure there’s plenty of room next to each strand.
  8. If you’re filling the bread, then flatten out the strands to make space for the stuffing. I mixed in a separate bowl feta cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and dried mint for the filling.
  9. Start sealing the opened dough, and lay it on the sealed side down
  10. Join the 3 strands together at the top, seal, and tuck under the dough and start braiding as shown in the video.
  11. Brush with egg wash, and add sesame seeds if desired.
  12. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the top of the braid is golden brown.

I would say let it cool, but who am I kidding, this bread will go down as soon as it comes out of the oven. So slice up and enjoy!

If you make any of Craftsy Cakes recipes, be sure to tag me on social media @craftsycakes to see all your beautiful creations.

 

 

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