September 03, 2015

Homemade Braided Bread (with recipe)

A few years ago I figured out bread was really hard on my digestive system and tried to give it up most of the time.  It's only been in the last couple years I figured out it's not all bread that causes distress... it's store bought, mass quantity, low quality breads that my body doesn't like.  I seem to do just fine with artisan breads and homemade breads.  So this week I made a batch of Texas Hot White Bean Chili and baked bread to my hearts content.  And ate almost that much too!

I made half this recipe into the quick braided bread you see above and the other half into buns.  I did not wait for it to rise as high as I should have... I couldn't.  I was like a kid waiting to open gifts on Christmas morning.  I was so hungry and knew it would be so good!  So I rushed two 'not even half' raises and then popped it in to bake.  As you can see, it forgave me and still turned out oh-so-yummy.

Farm Wife Bread

1/4 c butter
1 c scalded milk
1/4 c sugar
1/2 t salt
1 package yeast (dissolve in ½ cup lukewarm water)
1 egg
4 cups flour

Put butter, salt and sugar in bowl; add scalded milk. Stir to melt margarine and dissolve sugar. When cool, beat egg and add to mixture. Add yeast mixture. Mix and add flour. Knead.  Cover and let rise until double, punch down and let rise again. Shape into balls for buns or loaves for bread. Let rise until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes for buns/rolls and about 25 minutes for a bread loaf or braid.  Check for doneness in the center and when it's golden brown.

To braid, divide half the dough into thirds, roll and form ropes.

Braid the bread loosely just like you would if you were braiding hair

Tuck the two ends under the loaf and allow to raise double in height (although I was too anxious and couldn't wait!)

Half the dough can be made into rolls, a loaf of bread or a second braid

After baking you can rub the top with butter to soften the crust or let it cool as is for a harder crust

Amazon offers many different styles and brands of bread pans if you need any;
Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 9-by-5-Inch Loaf Pan
Wilton Recipe Right Medium Loaf Pan
Lodge L4LP3 Loaf Pan

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