Braided Egg Bread

by Megan on June 14, 2010

One cool thing about this bread is that when sliced it looks like a cloud. Another cool thing about this bread is that it’s freckled. The obviously cool thing is that it’s braided. Twice! Double decker braiding action happens. You might think it’s so pretty that you’ll take a picture of it to your hair stylist to duplicate. I wouldn’t blame you a bit.

So, see how you braid it? Start in the middle and take the left over the middle then the right over those. Next thing you know: BRAID!

I think sprinkling bread with poppy seeds is really fun. It’s like decorating cupcakes. If anyone needs a professional poppy seed sprinkler, I’m your girl.

Braided Egg Bread {makes 1 loaf}
Recipe from the Taste of Home cookbook

Ingredients:

bread –

  • 3 1/4 to 3 3/4 all-purpose flour
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 package (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 T oil
  • 2 eggs

topping –

  • 1 egg
  • 1 t water
  • poppy seeds

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a saucepan, heat water and oil to 120º-130º. Add to the dry ingredients along with the eggs. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 6-8 minutes). Or knead in your stand mixer using your dough hook. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Set a third of the dough aside. Divide remaining dough into three pieces. Shape each into a 13-inch rope. Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under.
  4. Divide reserved dough into three equal pieces; shape each into a 14-inch rope. Braid ropes. Center 14-inch braid on top of the shorter braid. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  5. Beat egg and water; brush over dough. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake at 375º for 15 minutes. Tent with foil and continue baking 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.

Last time I made this I didn’t really center the little braid. It ended up all silly-looking. So this time I was pleasantly surprised. Braided bread. It’s where it’s at.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

laura June 14, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Loving that braid action! Nice!

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kangli June 15, 2010 at 4:21 am

this is cool! thought it looked uber complicated when I first saw the picture of the braided bread. but when i saw the recipe, it looked easy!

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Megan (megabite) June 15, 2010 at 7:25 am

Thank Laura! Loved getting my braid on.

Totally, Kangli! It’s an impressive finish to a pretty simple bread.

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beckie June 16, 2010 at 10:10 pm

The bread looks gorgeous! Wow. It looks nice and soft but the color of the crust is beautiful looks perfect.

Also, how cute are you with your pretty dress???

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Megan (megabite) June 17, 2010 at 8:21 am

Thanks Beckie! I love the way an egg wash transforms bread.

That’s one of my favorite dresses! … a vintage shop treasure. 🙂

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Tamara June 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Ops, I need to try this at home! Looks yummy…

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Megan (megabite) June 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Thanks Tamara. You totally should make it. The texture of the bread is so light and cloud-like.

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Val July 4, 2010 at 1:15 am

Love it! This is on my list of things to bake. Its been on my list now for nearly a year. Yours looks so great. I think July will be the month of braided egg bread for me!

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Megan (megabite) July 4, 2010 at 7:52 am

Cool Val! Make it today, even!

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OMEGA August 13, 2010 at 11:00 am

Hey Megan,

Just wondering… I noticed your instructions don’t mention to proof the yeast first. My Google search leads me to believe that active dry yeast is not the same as instant and still needs to be proofed. Any thoughts?
Also, I’m assuming you could easily substitute some (or all, if you’re me) of the all-purpose for whole wheat flour?

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Megan (megabite) August 13, 2010 at 11:15 am

Hi Hi OMEGA –

I’ve made a few different breads using the method above (where the yeast is simply added to the dry ingredients and it activates when the warm liquid is added) and I’ve also proofed it for other recipes. Either method works, though (recipe determining). For me, proofing is simply handy to ensure the yeast is going to rise like it should, but I don’t think it’s always entirely necessary for it to work.

As far as wheat flour in this recipe, I’d say go for it! I haven’t tried it in this one, but maybe would start with substituting half and see how it is. Or just replace it all with whole wheat and then let me know how tastes. I’d love to try a whole wheat version!

Hope this helps!

P.S. If you’d like to proof the yeast in this recipe just take 1/4 cup water of the total 3/4 cup an proof it in small cup with a pinch of sugar before starting.

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