My daughter asked me to bake a loaf of bread for a teacher's last day at school, but it couldn't have any milk in it because he is lactose intolerant. With a quick adjustment to my trusty white bread recipe, I was able to make him this delicious loaf of bread.
Yield: 1 braided loaf.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
- 1-1/4 cup water, room temperature
- 2-1/2 tsp (1 pkg. / .25 oz) active dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups bread flour, about
- In medium bowl, mix water and yeast. Add oil, sugar, and salt. Stir. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well. Slowly add in remaining flour, enough flour to make a dough that follows the spoon around the bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 4 minutes, adding more flour as needed until the dough is soft and smooth to the touch. Place dough in medium greased bowl. Turn dough over in bowl so that the top is also lightly greased. Cover with clean cloth and let rise in warm, draft-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Punch down dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead for 4 minutes or until the bubbles are out of the bread. Divide dough into three equal pieces. Roll each of the 3 pieces of dough between your hands, making 3 ropes, about 15 inches long. Line strips side-by-side on floured board and pinch the top ends together. Braid strips and pinch bottom ends together. Set braided loaf on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Bake loaf at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. Remove loaf from sheet and let cool on rack.
Bread Baking Tips:
- You can replace the water with apple juice or milk.
- Add a half cup of raisins or dried cranberries to the bread dough for extra sweetness.
- Keep yeast stored in an airtight container and in the refrigerator. Heat, moisture, and air kills the yeast and prevents bread dough from rising.
- Spraying loaves with water while they bake will produce a crispy crust.
- Brush loaves with egg white before baking to produce a shiny crust.
- Brush loaves with milk before baking to produce a dark, shiny crust.
- Brush loaves with butter immediately after baking to produce a soft crust.
- Bread flour has a higher amount of gluten than all-purpose flour. This means that bread made with bread flour will rise higher than bread made with all-purpose flour. You can make your own bread flour by adding 1-1/2 teaspoons gluten to each cup of all-purpose flour you use in your bread recipe.
- The 1-1/2 Tbsp of sugar in this recipe can be replaced with brown sugar, honey, molasses, or maple syrup.