We have to share this deliciously soft and sweet braided bread recipe with you. It is so simple and tastes amazing! If you’re intimidated by braiding the bread, don’t be! It’s totally easy. This recipe makes two loaves, but don’t expect them to stick around very long… they’re so delicious that they’ll disappear in no time!
When you first take the bread out of the oven, you will see how pretty it looks, almost too pretty to be eaten. You will be under the spell of its magical aroma that will take over your house. Neighbors or family stopping by? Wanting to spoil a loved one with a nice treat? This delicious bread will have you covered!
Ingredients for the dough:
4 cups flour (preferably bread flour)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons yeast
½ cup sugar
⅔ cup warm milk
6 tablespoons butter (plus an additional tablespoon to grease the surfaces)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Ingredients for the filling:
¾ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter
Powdered sugar for coating
On a flat and clean surface pour the flour in a circle as shown in the image below and sprinkle the salt over the flour.
Pour the milk, sugar, and yeast inside the circle. Mix until combined. Then add the eggs, one at a time, butter and vanilla extract. Slowly mix the flour with the liquid, trying not to break the circle completely so that the liquid stays inside. When all the ingredients are completely incorporated, knead the dough for 15 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a well-greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1-1/2 hours.
When doubled in size, gently punch down the dough. Divide it in half and on a buttered surface roll out one of the two portions into a 12-inch rectangle. With a kitchen brush spread the melted butter all over the dough. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle half over the buttered dough. Roll up the dough and pinch the edges together to seal.
Coat the bottom of the Contessa with butter or line it with parchment paper. With the help of the chef’s knife from our Elite Series Cutlery, cut the dough log longitudinally leaving 3 to 4 centimeters on one end. Braid the two strands together, tuck the last end under the bread, and place the braid on the Contessa. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise 1-1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake for 25 minutes, or until nicely browned. Remove the bread from oven and let it cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!