Braiding Bread

I thought I would do a special separate blog post demonstrating how to braid bread in several different ways. Yes braid, I am Canadian and that is what I call it, not plait. This is a really great way add a bit of fun to a plain loaf of bread. It comes up the most challah bread, which is a big favourite of ours! But….there are lots of breads that you can braid. It adds a really nice decorative element to a loaf without a lot of extra faff.

So if you follow below I will post the steps for making several different types of braids and I may add to this as I try new techniques in future.

Three Strand Braid

DSC_0099

This one is the one I have always used for challah (although now that I have tried others, I might not always use this). It is nice and easy and because it is the same way to do simple braids in hair, a lot of people already know how to do it.

  1. Divide your dough into three equal pieces.
  2. Roll out each piece into a long, round strand (it is best if the ends are a bit tapered).
    • You can play with how thin and long/short and fat you want them. I usually try to make them fairly long so I can get a good length in my loaf.
  3. Lay the strands next to each other on a board and pinch the top ends together.DSC_0094
  4. Starting with the strand on the right, lift it over the one in the middle, so it becomes the new middle strand.
  5. Now take the strand on the left and lift it over the strand in the middle, so it becomes the new middle one.                                  DSC_0095
  6. Continue this pattern going from the right then the left until you complete the braid.
  7. Pinch off the ends together and you are done!

 

Four Strand Braid

This one is a little bit more complicated, but also a little bit more fun!

  1. Divide your dough into four equal pieces.
  2. Roll out each piece into a long, round strand (it is best if the ends are a bit tapered).
    • You can play with how thin and long/short and fat you want them. I usually try to make them fairly long so I can get a good length in my loaf.             dsc_0065
  3. Place the strands next to each other and pinch the top ends together.
  4. Starting the far right, pick up the strand and weave it over the strand next to it, under the following one and over the last strand.dsc_0066
  5. Take the strand that is now on the far right and do the same pattern. Over the strand next to it, under and then over.                                                    dsc_0068
  6. Continue this pattern, taking the far right strand over-under-over until the loaf is fully braided.
  7. Neatly (or not so neatly in my case) pinch the ends of the strands together.

 

 

Six Strand Braid

dsc_0073

Once again, a bit more complicated and a bit more fun!

  1. Divide your dough into six equal pieces.
  2. Roll out each piece into a long, round strand (it is best if the ends are a bit tapered).
    • You can play with how thin and long/short and fat you want them. I usually try to make them fairly long so I can get a good length in my loaf. dsc_0057
  3. Place the strands next to each other and pinch the top ends together. This is neatest if you kind of hug the outer strands around the middle ones. dsc_0058
  4. Now starting with the strand on the far right, take it over the two strands next to it, then under one strand and over two. dsc_0059
  5. Go back to the far right and take the new far right strand and follow the same pattern: over two, under one, over two.dsc_0060
  6. Continue the pattern until the end of the loaf.dsc_0061
  7. Neatly pinch the ends of the strands together.

 

 

Round Woven Loaf

dsc_0079

This one is very cool and I definitely will be doing it a lot more! I did notice that you should try to pinch the ends very neatly to make a more refined looking final product. I might just try and make sure the joins are on the bottom in future.

  1. Divid your dough into five equal pieces.
  2. Roll out each piece to make a relatively short and fat strand.dsc_0048
  3. Take the first strand and form it into a loop, neatly pinching the ends together.dsc_0049
  4. Take the next strand and put it through the centre of the first loop and then pinch the ends together to form the second link of the chain.
  5. Continue this until you have four links attached.
  6. Using the fifth strand, weave it through the centre of the fourth and fifth links to connect the chain into a large circle.
  7. Neatly pinch the ends of the final link and try to arrange the joins so they won’t be as visible when the bread bakes.

 

Hope you enjoyed these braiding techniques and I hope to add more in future. You can send me pictures of your own creations on instagram using the hashtag #mimbakesbraids.

dsc_0078

 

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