In today’s post: Learn how to make this beautiful braided bread recipe – it looks impressive and tastes amazing but is very easy to make!
Daisy braid bread was the very first bread recipe I learned to make all by myself, courtesy of Ms. Kellogg, my eighth grade home ec teacher. Despite it’s impressive appearance it’s easy enough that a bunch of 13 year olds could make it. If you’ve never made bread before, this braided bread recipe is a great one to try!
I have lots of favorite bread recipes (this french bread is amazing and these garlic breadsticks are the softest you’ve ever tasted), but this braided bread has a special place in my heart. My friends and I used to get together after school to make it. It’s just delicious. Seriously. It’s a tiny bit sweet and a tiny bit rich – not enough to make it taste like a sweet bread, but enough to make it one of the more delicious white breads you’ve ever tasted. With the extra sugar and richness from eggs, it’s very similar to a challah loaf (YUM!).
My favorite part about this braided bread recipe is that it rises in the fridge, meaning you don’t have to be around all afternoon to serve this bread hot with dinner. Spend about half an hour in the morning (or the night before, or the morning before) mixing it up and shaping, then pop it in the fridge for anywhere between 2 and 48 hours. Then bake whenever you want for piping hot bread.
Amazing braided bread recipe
Here’s the recipe (and thanks again, Ms. Kellogg!)
5-6 C flour
2 T yeast
1 t salt
1/2 C margarine, softened
1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 C warm water
If you’re using a stand mixer: Add 5 C of flour and all other ingredients to the bowl at once, liquids first, and turn your mixer on low (using the bread hook) until flour is mostly incorporated. Turn up to 3 and knead for five more minutes, adding up to 1 C more flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl (see photo below). Turn out onto floured surface and knead once or twice to pull it into a nice ball, as shown below (dough will be somewhat stiff). Cover with a towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
W/out a stand mixer: combine 2 C of flour with rest of ingredients in a mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to blend well. Gradually mix in 3 to 3 1/2 more cups of flour with wooden spoon until dough pulls from sides of bowl and gets too stiff to use the spoon. Turn out onto floured surface and divide into two. Knead each portion by hand for about 8 minutes until you get a nice smooth ball (as pictured above right), adding a little flour as needed to keep it from sticking to your work surface. Cover with a towel and let rest 20 minutes.
Either method continues: Divide dough into two portions if you haven’t done so already. Sprinkle more flour on your work surface and use a rolling pin to roll one piece of dough into a rectangle as shown below (maybe 6 inches wide and 15 inches long – but don’t worry about being exact). Use a pizza cutter to slice rectangle into three long pieces. Pull sides of each piece up and pinch together to form a rope, as shown below. Braid pieces together, starting in the center and working down, then going back to the center and working back up. Wind braid into a circle and place into an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan that has been greased (I line mine with wax paper as well as spraying w/Pam). Where loose ends meet, tuck them together to form a complete circle.
Repeat with other half of dough. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with a little Pam and use that (Pam side down) to cover each of your dough circles, then place them in the fridge for anywhere between 2 and 48 hours.
To bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from fridge and place directly in middle rack in oven (if your oven cooks hot on the bottom you might want to move the rack up a bit). Cook for about 30 minutes. The top should be brown and crusty to the touch while the grooves in the braids will remain white. Do not undercook – if you take this out when the top is just barely golden brown it won’t be cooked in the middle. Remove braided bread from pan right away and move to a cooling rack or towel. Grab some butter and rub it over the top of the bread to make it shiny, pretty, and soft on top.
I like to serve this hot, but if you try to slice it before it’s cooled it might smush, so we simply tear it apart to serve. It’s delightful with butter and/or homemade jam.
This braided bread recipe works great for gifting since you can do all the work ahead, then just bake and deliver whenever you’re ready. You can also divide the dough into 3 instead of 2 for slightly smaller loaves so you can give more away. EVERYONE loves this beautiful braided bread!
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