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Friday, February 12, 2010

Braided Bread - Part 2 of 2


Good morning,

In yesterday's article I gave the recipe for the bread pictured above and the instructions through the first rise.  Today we will pick up with the braiding, second rise, and baking. 


Wash, dry, and flour your working surface. 


Place the dough on the surface, knead briefly and form into a ball.

Dive in half, then

knead each half to remove bubbles, then divide in thirds.


Form each third into a long strip.  I did a little more "forming" to get them a little more even after taking this picture.
Braid the three strips together, tucking ends under.  You can bake it this way on a baking stone, but for this batch I put them in a loaf pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

I am using baking stone loaf pans in these images.  
A side note:  don't wash these pans or your baking stone with soap and water because they are porous and the soap will soak into the stone.  Just wipe them clean.  They will discolor with use, which is to be expected.

Repeat for the second loaf, then place both in the oven with the light on and no heat once again for the second rise. 

This took about 55 minutes this time.  Again, you have to watch and work with the bread when it is ready.  Some days it takes longer than other days.

Take the bread out of the oven again.  Set the oven to 350 degrees F.  Scramble one egg in a small bowl.
Paint the egg onto the top of the bread.  One egg easily coats both loaves of bread.
It's finally time to bake the bread.  Set the timer for 45 minutes and prepare for wonderful aromas to fill your home.

45 minutes later the loaves are golden brown.
Turn out to a rack to cool immediately.

Then, slice and enjoy.  

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