Why shouldn’t have daddy breakfast in bed on father’s day? Now here is an idea to bake a great Sunday breakfast and not just for Father’s Day.
There are two recipes for a sweet braided loaf – both with yeast but one with very little and long fermentation and the other one when you are in a rush and want a treat for the afternoon tea. You may know it under the name Challah because it looks like one but a proper Challah has water, sugar, flour, yeast, salt eggs or olive oil. So not to be confused with a brioche which is an enriched European sweet dough with lots of butter and made with milk.
Try both recipes to see which one you’d prefer and I would love if you could send me a photo.
Sunday Sweet Braided Milk Bread
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.
Braided sweet bread – long fermentation
Braided sweet bread called ‘Striezel’ in Austria is usually on a Sunday’s breakfast table or any other shape but it’s got to be a sweet yeasted bread like brioche.
This recipe is the healthier version – little yeast and long fermentation over night in the fridge. Healthier because all grain consists of plant defense substances that is hard to digest for our gut but if there is a long fermentation those are getting broken down completely. Partly the reason why we are less bloated.
- All ingredients should have room temperature. You can take warmer water from your tap to adjust the temperature of the milk from the fridge. It should have 22 - 28 degrees Celcius. Weigh all ingredients in a mixing bowl and with your dough hook of either a hand mixer or stand knead for 2 minutes slow and 7 minutes intensive to have a smooth, shiny dough. Depending on your flour quality and where it is from sometimes you would need to add more liquid if the dough is very stiff. Now cover your dough and leave to prove for 60 minutes or more depending on your room temperature so that it doubles in size. Then knock it back in the bowl cover with foil and put for minimum 12 hours in the fridge.
- Take out of the fridge and put on a floured work surface. Divide in half and shape round. Cover with a kitchen cloth (linen) and let rest for 30 minutes. (Bench rest) Divide each dough into 3 or 4 and roll into strands. How good are your braiding skills? Make two braided loaves and put on a greased baking paper, cover and let prove for 30 - 45 minutes, brush with an egg wash and bake in the pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius/fan for 35 minutes.
- You can sprinkle with almonds or pearl sugar.
Don’t be tempted to bake longer otherwise it will dry out but it should be baked through. Check with a tooth pick.