For something creative and reminiscent to a pine cone, we are going to make braided sweet bread with our recipe.  Making the bread itself is simple despite what we originally think of it when we see it in pictures or in shelves of a bakery.

 

Braided sweet bread can be enjoyed as part of your breakfast and snack.  You can also make sandwiches out of them if you prepared the bread as a roll.

 

Braided Sweet Bread
Braided Sweet Bread

 

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 3 cups (or 375 grams) of all-purpose flour,unbleached
  • 1 tsp. of “Rapid Rise” yeast (or regular yeast)
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp. (or 125 ml) lukewarm milk
  • 3 tbsp. (or 50g) of butter, softened in room temperature
  • ¼ cup or (50g) of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ of salt

 

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup(or 50g) ground, whole almonds
  • ½ cup or (112 ml.)of apricot jam
  • 2 tsp. or 1 ml. vanilla extract

 

Additional:

  • ½ cup (or 50g) of raisins
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Sugar glaze of choice (optional)

 

Directions

For the dough:

  1. Test the yeast, put your flour into a mixing bowl and punch a hole at the middle of it.
  2. Place the yeast and at least 1 tbsp. of sugar right down at the hole and pour milk over.
  3. Sprinkle a little bit of flour to cover your milk and cover the mixture with a clean towel for about 15 minutes. This will be enough of a time to test or proof your yeast.
  4. In a different mixing bowl, incorporate the softened butter, 2 eggs, sugar and salt until the sugar starts to dissolve.
  5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and attach dough hook into your stand mixer.
  6. Work on your dough until it acquires a smooth, satin-like consistency which would take you for about 5 minutes. If the dough is a bit dry, try to sprinkle water; and if the dough is rather sticky, try to add 1 tbsp. of flour at a time in order to adjust the consistency.
  7. Grease a bowl with butter and put the dough ball inside. Cover the dough with a clean towel for another 15 minutes.

 

For the filling:

  1. Mix apricot jam, vanilla and ground almonds until you create a thick paste for a filling.

 

Preparing the bread:

  1. Lightly flour a surface and roll out your dough until you form a 12×16-inch rectangle.
  2. Smear the apricot paste down the middle third of the dough and sprinkle raisin on top of it.
  3. Cut 1” strips on the diagonal on the two sides outside thirds, halting before you even cout on the paste.
  4. Fold one end over the filling and begin the braiding procedure.
  5. Preheat the oven into 385⁰F with timer set to 30 minutes.
  6. Mix the egg yolk with 2-3 tbsp. of water to make an egg wash and brush it over the braid of the dough.
  7. Put the cookie sheet on the middle rack of the oven adjust temperature into 380⁰F and bake the bread for about 30 minutes or until it achieves a golden brown tan.
  8. Remove the break from the oven and let it cool a bit.

 

Time

  • Preparation Time : 30 minutes
  • Rising of Dough : 60 minutes
  • Cooking Time : 30 minutes

 

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