Braided bread

November 2, 2023
Braided bread

Making your own braided bread really doesn’t have to be difficult. Today I am sharing an easy braided bread recipe with you, where you will end up braiding and baking three strands of bread dough into a beautiful loaf.

Of course, this braided bread is not only beautiful, but also heartily delicious. The recipe is from Levine van Doorne’s Dutch book, “vlechtbrood uit eigen oven.”

How to make braided bread

When I made this bread, I immediately realized that it’s not that difficult to make braided bread. Of course, you can make it as difficult as possible by using a challenging bread recipe and braiding with many strands. I kept it simple and opted for an easy bread dough and a simple 3-strand braid that still looks impressive.

So I would definitely call this an easy braided bread recipe and I hope this clears up any doubts you may have. After all, making braided bread is a lot of fun because you get to pull such a special looking loaf out of the oven. And I can tell you that it tastes really good with a slice of cheese on top and some homemade egg salad. Or just with butter, because the bread tastes great on its own, too.

BAKING TIP! Looking for a really easy bread recipe? Try these crescent cinnamon rolls!

Braided bread 3

Braided bread recipe

What do you need to make braided bread? Let me walk you through the ingredients:

  • Wheat flour. I personally use regular wheat flour from the grocery store. Levine’s book suggests substituting half of it for whole wheat flour, along with 10-30 grams of extra water.
  • Instant dry yeast. This is available at the grocery store and does not need to be dissolved in liquid first (as fresh yeast does).
  • Salt. Salt is not only an important flavoring agent, but it also helps form the gluten network and provides a nicer crust color.
  • Sugar. This is good for the yeast, but can be omitted for a savory bread.
  • Butter. If you want to bake bread with a crispy crust, omit butter or any other fat.
  • Water. Moisture is necessary to build a good gluten network, but it should never be warmer than 20-25 °C (68-77 °F) as this can kill the yeast.
  • Milk. The same goes for milk, except that milk makes the crumb softer. I prefer whole milk.
  • Egg. The addition of egg makes this bread taste a little more luxurious than breads without an egg.

DID YOU KNOW that you can buy a baking pan in the shape of a braided bread?

slice of braided bread

braided bread how to

Braided bread baking tips


For this recipe, I use regular wheat flour from the grocery store. With a bread recipe, it is especially important to keep all the ingredients (don’t just substitute or omit anything) and to weigh everything carefully, including the liquids.


Yeast dough needs to be kneaded for a long time, which is very important for a good and tasty result. If I use a stand mixer with a dough hook, I usually spend 10-15 minutes on medium-high speed, but if I knead by hand, I spend up to 20-25 minutes. Most importantly, watch yourself! You want a smooth dough where you can pull a membrane out of a small piece of dough.


Is your dough not rising properly? There are several reasons for this. Your dough may not have been kneaded long enough, the environment may be too cold, or the yeast you used may be too old and dead. Bread dough rises best at a temperature just above room temperature. So choose a warm place in the kitchen to let your dough rise.

Letting bread dough rise in the refrigerator

Can I let bread dough rise in the refrigerator? Yes, you can. You can choose to let the first or second loaf rise in the refrigerator so you can bake it the next morning.


How do you know when your bread is done? A good trick is to tap the bottom of your bread, it should sound hollow. For some breads, it’s important to cover the bread with aluminum foil during baking so it doesn’t get too dark. This is the case with this braided bread, for example.


Immediately after baking, remove the bread from the baking sheet and place it on a rack to cool completely. I prefer to store my freshly baked breads in a clean, dry dish towel.

Braided bread 6


braided bread recipe

Print recipe

No votes yet

Braided bread recipe

With this easy braided bread recipe, you will braid and bake three strands of bread dough into a beautiful and most importantly, incredibly delicious loaf of bread.
Servings: 1 bread



  • 500 grams wheat flour
  • 7 grams instant dry yeast
  • 8 grams salt
  • 10 grams sugar
  • 35 grams unsalted butter
  • 60 grams water 20-25°C 68-77°F
  • 180 grams whole milk 20-25°C 68-77°F
  • 70 grams of egg

for the egg wash

  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp of milk and 1 pinch of salt



  • Put all the ingredients for the bread dough in a bowl and knead for about 10-15 minutes until you have a pliable dough (see tip). I used a stand mixer, but you may need to knead longer with a hand mixer or by hand.


  • Place the dough ball in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean cloth. Let rise in a warm place for 60 minutes or until doubled in size. When you poke the dough with your finger, you should see a hole that remains visible.
  • Drop the dough ball onto the counter. Using a dough cutter, divide the dough into three equal pieces. Roll up each piece of dough, cover with the tea towel and let rest for another 20 minutes.


  • Work one ball at a time. Flip the ball so that the bottom is on top and roll out with a small rolling pin to a piece of dough that is the same thickness everywhere. The piece should be no longer than the last strand you will be braiding.
  • Roll it lengthwise into a strand, pinch the seam, and roll it back and forth under your palms to close the seam. Use a very small amount of flour or oil on your hands as you roll out the strands, if necessary. Set aside and repeat for the other two balls.
  • Repeat the above process for all the strands (rolling, pinching seam, etc.) as it will not be possible to roll out the dough to the perfect length all at once. My strands were about 40-45 cm long.


  • Lay the strands lengthwise in front of you on the work surface with the seams facing down. Number the strands from left to right: 1, 2, 3. During braiding, each strand will be given a new number after the next step, depending on its position at that time.
  • While braiding, lift the strands well and don’t pull on them, as this can cause the braid to become thin in places or even tear during baking. Sprinkle a very small amount of flour on the three strands that are formed to prevent them from sticking together during braiding.
  • It’s best to braid from the center for an even loaf. In this way, you will be braiding the bottom first. This is done by placing strand 1 over strand 2 and then strand 3 over strand 2. Repeat these steps until the bottom half of the braid is braided. Pinch the ends together.
  • Then flip the braid so that the side that was on the countertop is now on top. With the loose strands back in front of you, finish the braid by repeating the same steps, placing strand 1 over strand 2 and then strand 3 over strand 2. When you are finished, pinch the ends together and turn the braid over with the pretty side up.


  • Place the braid on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with the tea towel. Let rise at room temperature for 60 minutes or until doubled in volume. It is risen enough when you press on it with your finger and the imprint remains visible.


  • Brush the dough with the egg, milk and salt mixture. Bake the bread for 40 minutes at 220°C (under and over heat) until it is done and golden brown. If necessary, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the bread after 20 minutes to prevent the crust from getting too dark.

To see if the dough is pliable enough, take a small ball of dough and try to stretch it until it forms a thin membrane without tearing (think of blowing bubbles in chewing gum, it should be very thin).
How to store

I prefer to store my freshly baked breads in a clean, dry dish towel.

Links in this article may be affiliate links. If you purchase something through such a link, I will receive a small commission, without you paying anything extra.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *