3 Strand Braided Bread





Afternoon I recently made this braided bread for a guest post on the cooking club for Boards.ie. It could not be easier to make, it looks like Challah bread but there is no sweetness here so its perfect for sandwiches etc, or my favourite toasted with some Gooseberry preserve. I hope you make this and enjoy it, any questions give me a shout.


Ingredients:


500g strong flour
Pinch of salt
Pinch of caster sugar
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon dried fast action yeast
320 gr milk
75 gr melted butter
1 egg yolk with pinch of salt for glaze whisked 


Method
  1. Heat the milk in a microwave for 1 minute or till lukewarm in pan. Take off the heat and add the yeast with pinch of sugar, whisk and allow to dissolve. The addition of sugar encourages the yeast to grow, feeding it if you like. Sieve the flour into a bowl and place pinch of salt in the opposite side of the bowl.  
  2. The purpose of this is if the salt mixes with the yeast too early on it will damage the growth of the yeast later in the prove.
  3. Make a well in the flour and add the milk mixture, give a quick stir then add your whisked egg. 
  4. Combine the ingredients and finally adding your butter. Bring together to form a dough ball, it will be quiet sticky, this is how it should be. Place on very lightly floured counter top, literally a sprinkle. 
  5. Knead the dough for roughly 5 - 7 minutes. As you need the dough will be come less sticky. By the time you are finished kneading you will have a smooth round ball.
  6. Place the dough back in a large bowl, and cover with a damp cloth. Allow to prove in a warm place for 45 mins, room temperature should do or even the hot press. It should have doubled in size when you return to it. The purpose of proving is to build up the gluten proteins allowing them to react and expand with the yeast.
  7. When the dough has doubled you now need to knock it back, to do this gently tap down the dough with your hand to knock back the air that has built up in the prove. Once you have knocked back the dough, weigh the dough ball cut in to 3 equal weighted smaller dough balls. 
  8. With these dough balls you now need to roll in to 3 long strands with your hand all the same size and length, each strand should be about 60 cm in length. 
  9. Now line up your three strand and follow this technique:
  10. What you are looking to do is bring the left most strand to the middle of the further right two strands and then the furthest right to the middle of the furthest left strands, and so forth till you have it fully braided. Once braided chop off both ends with a knife roughly an inch. 
  11. Place on a floured tray and allow to prove for a further hour in a warm place again. Pre heat oven to 240c / 230c for fan ovens 15 mins before end of prove.
  12. Once doubled in size, glaze with egg glaze making sure to glaze all over to achieve maximum colour. Bake for 30 mins. Take out allow to cool and enjoy!


Thanks for reading.


Will

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