This 4-strang braided milk bread made with fresh yeast is the ideal breakfast for Sunday but you will find it in most households over the Easter period called Osterstriezel = Easterstriezel – well there is no translation for Striezel which sort of entered into the English language by now.
You can either mix the dough late evening and put it overnight in the fridge for cold prove or if you are an early riser than in the morning hours before everyone else gets up. It should only take you under two hours from start to finish.
You can make two large braided loaves or three smaller ones and suggest to put them in the freezer for that quick Sunday breakfast or when guest arriving for afternoon tea. If you are not a super braider there is always to option to put them in a tin.
- All ingredients should have room temperature. Measure all ingredients with your scale in gram - even the liquids. With your dough hook in the mixer for 3 minutes slow and 5 minutes on a faster setting until you have a nice smooth dough which comes off the bowl and gluten is formed. Cover with cling film or a towel and leave to prove for 30 - 40 minutes.
- Put your dough on a lightly floured surface and divide as you would like to make your loaves. Either in 3 or 2. When making braids you should first form each dough piece into a roll and let rest for 15 minutes covered with a towel. Then you will roll each one into a strand and the length depends on how many loaves you make and if you make a 3 strand or 4 strand braid. You then put your braided loaves on a greased tray and cover with a cloth and let prove for 40 minutes at room temperature.
- Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees C fan and 180 degrees C conventional settings. Make an egg wash with one egg and 1tbsp of milk; brush your loaves and if liked sprinkle with pearl sugar or slivers of almonds. Bake in the middle of your oven for 35 minutes but that depends on your size. Check after 30 minutes. They can be golden in colour but not baked. Test with a tooth pick or similar. Leave to cool on a rack.