Sweet Braided Bread

June 11th, 2011 in Desserts by
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Total cooking time: 4h  
Sweet Braided Bread

Sweet Braided Bread

I am used to call this kind of braid sweet bread Hala (Хала in russian), however when I was preparing to write this recipe and did a bit of research to make sure I get name right in english, I discovered that real Challah (Hala) doesn’t contain dairy.

Considering this recipe have butter and milk and eggs in it, I didn’t risk to call in challah. After all it is a sweet braid yeast based sourdough bread.

It tastes good by itself and even better with a cup of yogurt or cultured milk (kefir or buttermilk).

Ingredients:

  • About 3.5 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 pack (1/4oz) of active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup of milk for dough + 1 table spoon of milk for brushing
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 eggs (an egg for dough and another one for brushing)
  • 3.5 oz of butter
  • Poppy seeds
  • A table spoon of salt

How to prepare, step-by-step:

  1. Prepare ingredients: remember ingredients for recipes using yeast should be warm but not hot, only in this case yeast will grow to give your bread nice puffy texture:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 1

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 1

  2. Warm up 1/4 cup of water till about 110F (but not more), add about table spoon of sugar and mix active dry yeast in, cover with something and set aside for about 15 min:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 2

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 2

  3. Yeast will rise and form leaven:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 3

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 3

  4. Meanwhile, warm up milk (again to about 110F but not more) and pour it to the big mixing bowl:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 4

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 4

  5. Mix in remaining sugar:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 5

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 5

  6. An egg:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 6

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 6

  7. Melt butter (I used microwave) in advance, make sure it is not hotter than 110F and add to the mixing bowl:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 7

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 7

  8. Then add leaven and mix:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 8

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 8

  9. Add salt to flour and start sifting it to the mixing bowl, starting from now you can use stand mixer with dough hook or a fork if you mix it by hands:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 9

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 9

  10. Continue adding flour until you can dough which can be kneaded by hands, knead it a bit, then move back to the bowl it was mixed in:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 10

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 10

  11. Cover bowl with clean towel and put it to the warm (but not hot) place for about 2 hours, it is important that temperature is consistent, so avoid opening towel. By the end of 2h timeframe, if everything worked as it should, the dough will rise, but it will get a bit sticky, so get it to the wooden board generously powdered with flour and knead several times so it stops sticking to your hands:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 11

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 11

  12. Then divide dough into 4 equal pieces:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 12

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 12

  13. Roll one piece of dough into sheet with rolling pin:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 13

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 13

  14. And roll it up with your hands:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 14

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 14

  15. Repeat for the all dough pieces, make sure all rolls are they same length:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 15

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 15

  16. Lay a baking sheet with parchment paper and stick all 4 rolls together on one side:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 16a

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 16a


    Start braiding: move side rolls into middle and cross them over, and middle rolls to the sides:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 16b

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 16b


    Continue braiding in the same manner:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 16c

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 16c


    Until you get full braid, join ends and hide them under the braid. Then cover with towel and set aside in warm place for 10-15 mins, meanwhile warm up oven up to 370F:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 16d

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 16d

  17. Separate egg yolk from egg white (you will not need that egg white for this recipe), mix egg yolk with one table spoon of milk:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 17

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 17

  18. Then brush top side of bread with egg yolk and milk mix:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 18

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 18

  19. And season with poppy seeds to taste:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 19

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 19

  20. And put to the oven warmed up to 370F for 20-25 mins:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 20

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 20

  21. Take ready sweet bread from oven and let it cool down on room temperature, cover with towel if needed:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 21

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 21

  22. Slice it up and serve for breakfast or any other occasion. By the way, this kind of bread tastes good with yogurt or kefir, or like we had it with banana milkshake:
    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 22

    Sweet Braided Bread Recipe: Step 22

Enjoy!

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7 Responses to “Sweet Braided Bread”

  1. singha says:

    Looks very much like the traditional czech christmas pastry called “vánočka”. Only that it has 3 layers and is sweet (sugar, raisins, almonds) and is AWESOME! :). If you haven’t yet, you should definitely try it!

  2. aida says:

    I have a question, what is ” oz” could you please say how much in “gram” is each oz?

  3. nadera says:

    I just made this recipe yesterday, my husband and my son love it. thank you so much

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