The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Type of bread for braiding?

SugarOwl's picture

Type of bread for braiding?

I've been seeing ibor's braids and think they are wonderful. However I think the recipe for Blueberry Cream Cheese braid on here looks yummy too. What type of bread is best for both of those? I was thinking braiding would be a challah and the blueberry cream cheese one might be a pastry dough?

I have been flicking though a No-Knead book and have started the challah tonight for tomorrow. Is there such a thing as a filled challah or would I need a different dough for that?

Also, could I just use the dough for the Blueberry Cream Cheese Braid on here to make a regular braided dough? Rolling it into logs to braid instead of a rectangle? I asked a few questions on that recipe here on TFL so I won't post those here.

One last question. I've gotten a request from a friend to try to make Mallorca bread. I've seen a few recipes, does someone have a link to one they like best?

Lechem's picture

I too have been admiring Ibor's braiding. Marvellous. 

I think traditionally enriched sweet breads are braided and I would think it'd have to be low hydration.

Challah isn't normally filled but for special occasions they're sometimes made sweeter with sweet toppings or glazing and might have raisins inside. 

SugarOwl's picture

Thanks Lechem. I'm learning that there are a million types of bread. Unlike cake where I can make 20 different flavors with one recipe by switching out extracts. Bread seems to be more on the 'hands on' side, lols. :)

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken


Challah, Dairy, The Best Challah I ever made May 13, 2016 Excellent in all respects

Prep your oven by setting two racks, one in the middle and one just below it to hold an 8” X 8” cake pan with 1 inch water in it to steam the oven for the first 15 minutes of baking.

You need a second warm rising oven.


3/4Cup whole milk, Stu uses Lactose Free, (if using reduced-fat milk add a little extra butter to the recipe to make up for the reduced fat)

2Tablespoon butter, salted, melted in custard cup in micro do not boil

2Eggs, large, at room temp

1/8Cup clover honey, a 1/4 cup measuring cup filled half full

1/4Cup white sugar, you may reduce sugar but increase honey by that amount

1Teaspoon fine texture salt, Stu used fine Baleine sea salt in the blue round tall box container.

1 2/3   Cup bread flour, unbleached King Arthur

1 1/2   Cup Caputo 00 flour, King Arthur Italian Style flour

1 1/2   tsp rapid rising yeast, I like SAF but any yeast is fine, one packet

4Drop yellow food coloring optional, I, Stu Borken, use it

1egg  scrambled for egg wash with 1/2 egg shell of water mixed in

sesame seeds for decoration


Instructions: Create a warming oven, warm a bread rising bowl oiled with vegetable oil.


Set up the smaller tilt head KitchenAid stand mixer with the wire whisk in place.  (I have the larger pro, not needed for this recipe)


Place butter into a Pyrex custard cup or ramekin and melt it in the microwave oven.


In 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup place the milk and a 1/2 tsp of the sugar and warm to 108 degrees and mix and dissolve the sugar.  Add the yeast and proof 10 minutes.


Into bowl of KA; When the yeast proofs in the milk pour it into the KA bowl and add the butter, eggs, sugar, honey and food coloring. Whip well to dissolve the sugar.  Then remove the whisk.

Pour salt and flours into KA bowl.  


Replace the whisk with the paddle, I use the rubber edged one which scraps the bowl edge.  Mix to wet all the flours well and mix a minute or two.


Remove the paddle.


Place dough hook in place and knead for 6 minutes scraping dough off hook a few times.


Remove dough from the KA bowl, place it onto a wooden board (the dough should be soft but not sticky and no flour should be needed on the board or your hands, if you do need some, of course, use it) then knead it for a minute or two to further develop the gluten and you can get a good feel for the dough. Shape it into a ball and place into the bowl turning over once to grease it.  Cover with plastic but not touching the dough just sealing the bowl, and place in warming oven for whatever time it takes to double. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a board.  Cut into three sections not pie like but as though you were cutting it in half but off center to actually cut it into three long strips. Cover the dough strips with a damp cloth for  5 minutes.


At this time I take a double bottom cookie sheet turned upside down and place my Silpat matt on it.  I sprinkle just a small amount of yellow corn meal onto the matt.


Working with one strip of dough at a time,  gently flatten each piece, into a rectangle.  Take the left side and fold to 2/3 across to the right.  Take the right side and fold 2/3 to the left.  Pat this down again flat.  Turn this 90-degrees and then stretch this rectangle to about 8 inches long, and from the edge closest or farthest from you, you start rolling up this rectangle, pinching down the rolled edge, until you have rolled up the entire log then seal the final seam by pressing with the heel of your hand.  Roll this log to 12 to 14 to 16 inches long. Fatter in the center and tapered on the ends.  Rest the logs on their seam side.  Cover each one with a damp cloth.  Allow to rest 5 minutes then make each one the same length.


Lay the three ropes side by side and pinch one end together and begin braiding from that end.  Pinch the final ends together and tuck under.  Tuck the beginning end under as well.  For some reason, my lack of braiding talent, my loaves always are sort of "kitty-whomps".  I even tried starting in the middle and working to each end...still the loaf was odd shaped.


Lift it up and place onto the Silpat matt.  This may be placed into a moist warm rising oven.   Spray the rising oven with water.  Allow the dough to rise for about 45 minutes until it has risen to almost double. Half way thru this rising, start to preheat the baking oven.  Place the cake pan with the water into the baking oven on the lower shelf, so it will produce steam as the oven preheats.  Heat the baking oven to 375 degrees.

At the end of the oven proofing 45 minutes remove the sheet pan and dough to your counter and paint the bread with egg wash. 


  At this time you may garnish the egg washed dough with seeds. Then gently place dough onto the hot oven and turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

Allow to bake for 30 minutes, look at it at 25 minutes to see if the oven is too hot, and if it's getting too dark brown turn oven down to 325 degrees for 5 more minutes.  I use an instant read thermometer to test the bread to see if it’s done. When the center of the bread reaches 195-200-degrees it’s done. Remove to a cooling rack. Makes one very large loaf.  There will be a huge oven-spring.