Video:How to Make Braided Sweet Breadwith Laurel Pajer
Braided sweet bread is a classic German dessert. Learn how to create two different types of braids for this almond, raisin and jam filled delicious sweet bread in this cooking video from About.comSee Transcript
Transcript:How to Make Braided Sweet Bread
Hello, I’m Laurel for About.com. Today we are going to learn how to make braided sweet bread. The braid is reminiscent of a pine cone or a child wrapped in swaddling. So, let’s get started.
Prep Needed for the Braided Sweet Bread
Your prep time is 1/2 hour, rise time is about 1 hour and your cook time is 30 minutes. Your total time is 2 hours.
The ingredients you will need are:
- 3 c. or 375 grams unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. "Rapid Rise" yeast (may also use regular yeast)
- 1/2 c. plus 1 tbsp. or 125 ml. milk, lukewarm
- 3 tbsp. or 50 grams butter
- 1/4 c. or 50 grams sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. or 112 ml. apricot jam
- 1/3 c. or 50 grams ground, whole almonds
- 2 tsp. or 1 ml. vanilla extract
- 1/2 c. or 50 grams raisins
- 1 egg yolk
- Sugar glaze of choice (optional)
Form the Sweet Bread Dough
To proof your yeast, lightly spoon flour into measuring cup or weigh. Place flour in a mixing bowl and create a hollow in the middle. Place yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in the hollow, pour the milk over that and sprinkle a little flour over the milk. Cover with a clean towel and let the yeast proof for 15 minutes.
In a separate container, whisk together melted butter, room-temperature eggs, sugar and salt until sugar starts to dissolve.
Add the egg mixture to the flour and yeast and mix with your dough hook until dough is smooth and satin-y, about 5 minutes. The dough will still cling to the bowl a little bit but not be very sticky. You may add up to 1 tablespoon of flour or a sprinkle of water to adjust the consistency.
Butter a clean bowl, gather the dough up into a round ball and place in bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise for 15 minutes.
Mix the Filling for the Braided Sweet Bread
For your filling, mix the apricot jam, almonds and vanilla together to form a thick paste.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured board to form a 12 inch by 16 inch rectangle.
Spread the apricot paste down the middle third of the dough. Sprinkle the raisins over the paste.
How to Braid the Sweet Bread Dough
Begin your braid by using a sharp knife, cut 1 inch strips on the diagonal on the two outside thirds, stopping before you cut into the paste.
Fold one end over the filling and begin braiding by folding the strips of dough over each other like crossing arms or lacing up boots.
Finish the braid by folding the far end over before you cross the last two strips, to form a package. Don't worry if you can see the filling a little bit.
Bake the Sweet Bread and Let Cool
Bake your bread. Heat the oven for 1/2 hour to 385°F.
Mix egg yolk with 2-3 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash and brush it over the braid.
Place bread (still on cookie sheet) on the middle rack in oven, turn oven down to 350°F and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and done. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
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