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Laboratory exercise and practice: Bread braiding.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Laboratory exercise and practice: Bread braiding.



Participation in Ralph Nieboer's Breadworks FB group community bake. " The Winston knot". To become capable, and proficient in shaping and baking a six strand Winston knot Bread.

Winston knot community bake.

Woke up, got out of bed and dragged a buffing rag across my head. I made my way to the kitchen and got an early start! 


1. Tangzhung water roux. (150°F)

2. Rough looking dough after initial mix

3. Smooth dough after mechanical gluten development.

4. Dough is looking as a treat after stretch and fold #1.


Deviation for formula. 

120g of roux used to account for bowl loss and for ease ( 6 parts at 20 g) 5 parts water, one part flour.

.165% instant yeast in place of fresh yeast 

Sourdough was unfed discard.


Modus operandi

Room temperature. 72°F


The Water, warm roux, and melted fat ( 10 g bacon fat, and 40 g shorting) were mixed together to temper.


Mechanical mix: 15 minutes low Bosch Universal #1 8 minutes Bosch Universal #2. 

Observations so far

The relatively low hydration dough took a bit to come together. Next time, I will hold back the fats until some gluten is developed. Aside from this the dough is now looking really nice. The elasticity is excellent. In fact I may forgo stretch and fold #2.

Stop by later for the epic finish! (I hope)





The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...
The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...


The grand finale.

Tips& tricks

When rolling out the cables, one needs to have patience. The steps


Preshaping into a round

Rest for a good 15 minutes to relax the gluten.

I roll out 18 cables at 114 g ea. To a final length of 24".The methodical method used follows.

1. Begin rolling out the rounds into cables. Start by rolling out 6" long cables and moving on to the next round. 

2. Once all the cables are at 6" long start at the first cable . Continue rolling it out until it resists. It should have reached about 18" . Continue rolling all the cables to about 18" long

Note I used a good amount of rye flour during the final shaping. This helps with the rolling & also helps keep the cables from sticking once braided into the Winston knot.

3. Again starting at the first cable roll out to the final length of 24" each. 



Next time I will use even more rye dusting flour, and less egg wash. Additionally, I will take more care when shaping the knots into symmetric rounds.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Much better outcome.

Changes implemented to achieve more definition in the knot.   

1. tighter shaping

2. Much more dusting flour (rye)

3. No egg wash or butter bath

I am not sure how people are able to keep the cables from sticking after washing the dough? That being said, I am "happy" with the bake results with a dry flour dusted bread in a steamed oven. Many moving parts associated with this bake. My braiding is par from perfect. Still a pleasing result. The crumb is slightly open and pillow soft.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Something very familiar with the basket like look...