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Friday, May 2, 2008

OK here it is the directions and recipie

and of course no post from me would be complete with the story that goes along with the bread. For me cooking especially pretty things is more often about where I got the idea from and why I make something than just feeding us. I mean I could get bread at the store that feeds us ..I could buy mixes that make nice "homemade" bread that feed us

but this bread is just pretty and it reminds me of something from my childhood.
I was "inspired" to make my bread like this for holidays because of a trip to the Milwaukee County Public Museum. There is an exhibit there called the European village and in one of the display houses there is a woman who has all these beautiful loaves of bread around her and buns and rolls and you can tell she must bake for the entire "village" well one of the loaves of bread that struck me as the loveliest I had ever seen was this bread that was shiny (I know it is really plastic) and is a braided ring

As a kid I always thought it looked so pretty and when I got older I wondered how you got bread to be shiny and then i wondered if I could make it

so I took a plain old bread recipe and separated the dough into three balls then I worked the balls into 3 ropes then I braided the ropes and joined the ends it took a bit of practice to get the braiding to look just right but after some playing with the dough I was able to figure it out and then a quick brush with an egg white wash (a TBS of water and one egg white brushed on with a pastry brush) then just bake till done

and voila you have a pretty ring of braided bread

The recipe I use for bread I got out of the book the came with my mixer but really any bread recipe will do

I have made rings out of garlic bread or just braided the bread and left it straight for a pretty and fancy baguette

you can braid any bread really

so there is my "secret"

this is the recipe out of the book

1/2 cup low fat milk(I use whatever I have)
3TBS sugar
2 tsp Salt
3TBS butter or margarine
2 packages of yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
1 1/2 cups warm water (105defreesF - 115 degreesF)
5-6 cups all purpose flour (I use bread flour and if I want the bread to be wheat bread I will use 2 cups wheat flour and 3 cups white flour and any additional flour will be white)

if you want to add seasoning to the bread doing it after the first rise

OK directions
Place Milk Sugar Salt and Butter in a small sauce pan heat over low heat till the butter melts and sugar dissolves cool to luke warm

Dissolves yeast in the warm water add the milk mixture and 4 1/2 cups of flour mix till the dough cleans the side of the bowl (I do not know if you are using a mixer or by hand I use a mixer)

add some more flour to the dough if it is needed (I usually use roughly 5 1/2 cups of flour)

I let my dough rise to double it's size right in the mixer bowl then I punch it down and let it rise again

then I separate the dough into 3 balls and start making ropes for braiding the bread

I will post the few pictures I took of the process as soon as I can find the cable for my camera the kids hid it on me!

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