How to Make Braided Bread

I always wanted to learn how to make braided bread because of the beautiful presentation. All homemade yeast breads are so delicious but the beauty of loaves of bread when braided is so amazing. When I was young I thought braiding dough would be too difficult. Instead I found braiding to be pretty simple and well worth the effort.

How to Make Braided BreadHow to Make Braided Bread

Many countries have their own special recipes for braided bread. Some recipes include lots of eggs, seeds and nuts. Other recipes have more of a sweet taste which incorporates fruits, nuts, more sugar and often finished with a sweet glaze. When you learn how to make braided bread, most recipes will be for braiding three ropes together. 


You will notice some of my recipes start with three ropes braided together with three braided ropes stacked on top. If using only two ropes, this is called a “twist” and sometime this is stacked on a braid.  I have a few recipes using six long ropes braided together which is really beautiful. You can also braid four or five ropes together but I am not sure if I have any like that. This would be a good experiment to try when learning how to make braided bread!


Braiding the bread dough is easy once you “get it”. With THREE strands line up three ropes spacing ONE inch apart. I braid from the right side to the middle then I move the left side to the middle; then right side to middle; then left side to middle and so on. Some start in the middle moving the rope over the other rope to the right, then the middle over the left rope; middle over to right, middle over to the left and so on. You want to braid the dough ropes loosely allowing enough room for the dough to rise and expand. After braiding always pinch the dough ropes at the ends to seal in place this is important when you are learning how to make braided bread.


Braiding four, five and six ropes are also easy once you get the pattern down. I almost never use four or five ropes (That I remember) and only occasionally use six ropes. With any braiding, once a pattern is established the main object is to use the same pattern all the way through the braid. If learning how to make braided bread watch my video for making a SIX ROPE braid. It is easier to watch than for me to tell you.

CHOCOLATE BRAID RECIPE

Chocolate Braid RecipeChocolate Braid Recipe

Learn how to make braided bread flavored with chocolate and covered with vanilla icing

  • 5 ½ to 5 ¾ Cups flour (Divided)
  • 2 Packages dry yeast
  • ½ Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 Cup instant potato flakes
  • 1 Teaspoon instant coffee crystals
  • 2 Cups milk
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • Toasted sliced almonds

Vanilla Icing

  • 2 Cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • ¼ Teaspoon vanilla

In large mixing bowl stir together 2 cups FLOUR, yeast, cocoa, potato flakes and coffee.

In saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, butter and salt until butter melts (120F-125F degrees).

Beat milk mixture into flour yeast mixture; beat in eggs on low speed.

Stir in as much of the remaining 3-4 CUPS of flour as you can with spoon.

Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead to soft dough about 6-8 minutes.

NOTE: Knead in more of the flour to make the soft dough.

Place dough in lightly greased bowl turning to grease surface.

Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk about 1 hour.

Punch dough down on floured surface; cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Divide dough evenly in HALF; divide each half into 3 parts.

Roll each part into a thick rope 16 inches long.

Braid THREE ropes together at a time pinching ends together.

Place each on a greased baking tray; cover the two braids with towels.

Let rise until doubled in bulk 30 to 35 minutes.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until done; cool on racks.

FOR ICING stir together ingredients in small bowl until smooth.

NOTE: Add more milk if needed for drizzling consistency.

32 Servings.


VANOCKA BREAD RECIPE

Vanocka Bread RecipeVanocka Bread Recipe
Vanocka Bread RecipeHow to Make Braided Bread with a Vanocka Bread Recipe

Learn how to make braided bread; a sweet Christmas bread from Czechoslovakia. This recipe makes a large beautiful loaf.

Bread

  • 1 Cup milk
  • ½ Cup butter
  • ¼ Cup honey
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Packages dry yeast
  • 1 Teaspoon packed brown sugar
  • ½ Cup warm water (112F to 115F degrees)
  • ½ Cup golden raisins
  • ½ Cup slivered toasted almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 Cup brown sugar
  • 3 Egg yolks (Room temperature)
  • 1 Tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 Teaspoon crushed aniseed 
  • 5 to 6 Cups flour

Glaze

  • Milk
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/3 Cup slivered almonds
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar

Heat milk with butter and honey in heavy saucepan until butter melts.

Stir in salt and cool to warm (About 115F degrees).

Combine yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar with warm water in large bowl.

Cover with a towel and let stand until foamy.

Toss raisins and ½ Cup almonds with 2 tablespoons flour.

Combine the milk mixture, 1/3 cup brown sugar, yolks and lemon peel.

Stir in the aniseed, 1 CUP flour and raisin nut mixture.

Blend in remaining flour 1 CUP at a time until sticky dough forms.

Turn out onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic.

NOTE: Knead about 6 minutes adding more flour if necessary.

Turn dough into a buttered large bowl; turn to coat.

Cover with plastic wrap and towel; let rise about 1 ½ hours until doubled.

Line baking sheet with parchment.

Punch dough down and turn out onto floured surface; knead until smooth.

Divide into 5 equal parts; cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Roll each piece into 12 inch long rope; place 3 on baking sheet.

Braid the 3 together; pinch ends together and tuck under.

Brush braid with milk.

Twist 2 remaining ropes together; pinch ends together and tuck under.

Place on top of braid; cover with towel and let rise 45 minutes until doubled.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees;

Bake for 35 minutes.

Combine beaten egg yolk with 1 ½ tablespoons whipping cream for glaze.

Brush bread with the egg glaze and sprinkle with the slivered almonds.

Continue baking until bread is golden brown about 20 minutes.

NOTE: Bread will sound hollow when tapped on bottom.

Remove bread from oven and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar.

Cool on sheet 5 minutes; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Unbaked Vanocka Bread RecipeUnbaked Vanocka Bread Recipe

CHALLAH BREAD RECIPE

Challah Bread RecipeChallah Bread Recipe
Whole Braided Challah Bread RecipeWhole Braided Challah Bread Recipe

Learn how to make braided bread with a famous Jewish bread recipe. It is rich with eggs and light in texture and known for its braided beauty.

  • 1 Package dry yeast
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • ½ Cup warm water (112F to 115F degrees)
  • 1/2 Cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 4 to 4 1/2 Cups flour
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 Egg white
  • 1 Teaspoon water
  • 1 Teaspoon sesame seeds or poppy seeds

Combine yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and ½ cup warm water; let stand 5 minutes.

Combine oil, ½ cup warm water, ¼ cup sugar and eggs in mixing bowl.

Beat on medium speed of mixer until blended.

Add yeast mixture and 2 cups of flour; beat until smooth.

Gradually stir in enough flour to make a soft dough (Still sticky).

Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead 5 minutes;

Place dough in a well greased bowl; cover with plastic wrap.

Let rise in a warm place free from draft 1 to 1 ½ hours until doubled.

Punch dough down; turn out onto well floured surface.

Knead dough several times; divided into 3 equal parts.

Shape each part into a 14 inch rope; place ropes on a greased baking sheet.

NOTE: Do not stretch ropes; keep at 14 inches.

Pinch the ends of the ropes together; braid ropes and pinch ends to seal.

Spray braid with cooking spray; cover and let rise 30 to 40 minutes until doubled.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees.

Beat egg white and 1 teaspoon water; gently brush over the braid.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds; bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden.


ALMOND BRAID RECIPE

Learn how to make braided bread flavored with orange and topped with powdered sugar glaze.

  • 1 Package dry yeast
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ Cup warm water (112F to 115F degrees)
  • ½ Cup milk
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 Beaten egg
  • 2 ¾ to 3 ¼ Cups flour (Divided)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ Cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ Cup sliced almonds

Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water in large bowl.

Let yeast set for 5 minutes.

Combine milk, butter, ¼ cup sugar, salt and nutmeg in saucepan.

Heat mixture until butter melts; let cool to 112F degrees.

Add to the yeast mixture; beat in the egg and 1 cup flour.

Gradually stir in enough of remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto floured surface; knead 5 minutes until elastic.

Place dough in well greased bowl turning to coat top.

Cover and let rise in warm place 1 ½ hours to double in bulk.

Punch down; cover and let rise another hour until doubled.

Punch dough down; divide into 4 equal parts.

Using 3 parts shape into ropes 14 inches long.

Place ropes on greased baking sheet; pinch ends together (at 1 end).

Braid ropes and pinch loose ends together; tuck ends under.

Divide remaining part into 3 parts; shape each part into 12 inch ropes.

Braid ropes, pinch ends together and tuck under.

Carefully place 12 inch braid on top of first braid.

Cover and let rise in warm place 45 minutes or until doubled.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees.

Bake 20 minutes or until a pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool bread on wire rack.

Combine 1 tablespoon butter, rind and juices in small bowl.

Stir in enough powdered sugar to make glaze consistency.

Drizzle glaze over bread; sprinkle with almonds. 


HOW TO MAKE BRAIDED BREAD RECIPE with FRUIT

Learn how to make braided bread with candied lemon and orange peel.

Dough

  • ¼ Cup melted butter (Cool)
  • 1 Cup milk 
  • 2 Tablespoons dry yeast
  • ¼ Cup sugar (Divided)
  • 2 Beaten eggs (Room temperature)
  • About 4 cups flour (Divided)
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup candied chopped lemon peel
  • ½ Cup chopped candied orange peel

For Brushing

  • 1 Egg yolk 
  • 1 Tablespoon milk

Heat milk to 112F to 115F degrees.

Sprinkle yeast over milk; stir in 2 tablespoons of the SUGAR.

Let yeast mixture stand until foamy 5-10 minutes; pour into large bowl.

Add melted butter and eggs; stir until blended.

Combine 3 cups of the FLOUR, candied lemon peel and orange peel.

Add to the yeast mixture, flour mixture, 2 tablespoons of SUGAR and salt.

Mix making a stiff dough pulling away from the sides of bowl.

Turn out onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic.

NOTE: Knead about 8-10 minutes kneading in more flour if needed.

Place dough in greased bowl turning to coat all sides.

Cover with plastic wrap and towel; place in warm place to rise.

NOTE: Let rise until doubled in bulk about 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Punch down dough and turn out onto lightly floured surface.

Divide dough in half; divide ONE part in 3 equal pieces.

Shape each of the 3 parts in 10 inch long ropes.

Braid ropes together pinching both ends and tuck under.

Place on one side of greased baking sheet.

Repeat with remaining dough; divide in 3, make rope and braid, place on tray.

Cover braids with towel; let rise about 1 hour to double in bulk.

PREHEAT OVEN to 350F degrees.

Mix egg yolk and 1 tablespoon milk; brush tops of braided loaves.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown; remove to wire rack to cool.

Makes 2 loaves.


ONION HERB BREAD BRAID RECIPE

Learn how to make braided bread with herbs and onion.

  • 1 Tablespoon dry yeast
  • ¼ Cup warm water (112F to 115F degrees)
  • 4 Cups flour (Divided)
  • 1 Cup warm nonfat milk (112F to 115F degrees)
  • ¼ Cup softened butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 ½ Teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 3 Large onions (Minced)
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ Teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ Teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ Teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ Teaspoon dried sage

Glaze

  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 1 Teaspoon water
  • Sesame seeds

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a large mixing bowl; let stand 5 minutes.

Add 2 cups of FLOUR, warm milk, butter, sugar and salt.

Mix on medium speed of mixer until well combined.

Add remaining FLOUR mixing until soft dough forms.

Cover and let rise in warm place about 1 hour until doubled in bulk.

FOR FILLING melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.

Add onions; sauté until tender and pale golden.

Add Parmesan cheese and remaining filling ingredients.

Stir onion mixture well; set aside to cool.

Punch dough down and transfer to a floured work surface.

Roll or pat dough to a rectangle (12 X 18 inches).

Spread the filling evenly over the rectangle dough.

Cut the dough into THREE strips (4 X 18 inches).

Roll each strip into a rope sealing edges and ends well.

Braid rope loosely together; place on greased baking sheet.

Cover braid with towel; let rise about 1 hour.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees.

Combine the egg yolk and water; brush over the top of braid.

Sprinkle top with sesame seeds.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown.

› Braided

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