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Step by Step How to Braid Bread

Bread Baking Photographs and Instructions

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Braiding bread dough is fun and easy to do. If you can braid hair, you can braid bread. Kids can also practice their braiding skills using braid dough. These easy instructions include a bread dough recipe you can use to make your first loaf of braided bread, or you can use a dough recipe of your own choosing. The braiding method used here starts the braid at the center of the bread. The dough is braided from center to end and then center to end again. This makes an evenly braided braid.

1. Making the Bread Dough

Bread Dough
Photo © Elizabeth Yetter

Begin your braided loaf by first making the bread dough. I've included a simple white bread recipe for you to try out or you can use a bread dough recipe of your choice.

Yield: 1-1/2 pound braided loaf.

1/4 cup water, room temperature
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup milk, room temperature
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 Tbsp honey
1-1/2 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour, about

In medium bowl, mix water and yeast. Add milk, butter, 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.

2. Form Dough Into Ropes

Form Dough Into Ropes
Photo © Elizabeth Yetter
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 12 to 15 inches long. Line ropes side-by-side on floured board.

3. Begin Braid at Center

Begin Braid at Center
Photo © Elizabeth Yetter
With the three ropes lined up, begin the braid at the center of the ropes. Braid loosely from center to end. Pinch and tuck in end.

4. Finish the Braid

Finish the Braid
Photo © Elizabeth Yetter
Turn bread board around and repeat - braiding loosely from center to end. Pinch and tuck in end.

5. Rise and Bake

Baked Braided Bread
Photo © Elizabeth Yetter
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.
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