Looking for the perfect bread to serve with your soup or pasta dinner? Braided white bread is the perfect tear-apart bread to serve at intimate dinner settings and at family gatherings.
Yield: 2 braided loaves
Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
- 1-1/2 cup warm water, 95 to 110 degrees F
- 1 Tbsp or 2 pkg. (1/2 oz.) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup soft butter or shortening
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cups bread flour, about
- In large bowl, mix warm water and yeast. Add butter, sugar, and salt. Stir. Add 3 cups of bread flour and mix well. Add in enough remaining bread flour to make a dough that follows the spoon around the bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed until the dough is firm 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.
- Punch down. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead out bubbles for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Set 3 pieces aside. Roll out the remaining 3 pieces of dough between your hands, making 3 stripes, about 12-inches long. Line strips side-by-side on floured board. Braid strips, starting from the center and working to the end, and pinch bottom ends together. Braid other side of loaf, from center to end, and pinch ends together. Set braided loaf on greased baking sheet and repeat steps for the remaining 3 pieces of dough. Cover loaves with kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
- Bake bread at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until bread top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when the top is tapped. Remove breads from baking sheets and let cool on rack.