There are few things I like better than bread and one of them is a stuffed bread. With a delicious filling and a pretty braided bread there is little else I would ask for. I would recommend this for a beginner bread baker. It looks pretty and makes you confident of being able to achieve such tasty results. Good right?
Why I love this Braided Bread?
I love this one because it is so simple and easy. It gets done in a jiffy and produces some excellent results. This bread needs only one raise and so it gets done quicker than usual breads which need a second proof.
Since it is a braided bread it does not require very gentle handling. That makes it perfect for a beginner baker who would find handling the dough difficult at first. To add to it all this is such a pretty looking bread that it would make a lovely centre piece for any meal during the holiday season.
To top it all, the pretty braiding makes it popular with kids. It is a good way to hide in vegetables they don’t like or do finish up leftovers. I guess I have more than made a case for why you should be attempting this braided bread right now! Let me know how it goes!
Substitutions and Variations
- Let’s start with the obvious one as always. Yes, we can replace this with whole wheat flour. But I like to have around 70-75% of all purpose flour and the balance as either oats flour or raagi (finger millet) flour or some other healthy flour.
- I have used milk and water for this bread. You can use either one or both in varying proportions. Milk makes the bread softer. So that is the main criteria you need to remember. If you do not have milk then add around 25-30 gms of milk powder.
- The filling inside the bread can be modified or replaced limited only by your imagination. The usual suspects that work well are paneer, potato and eggs. I have also made this with leftover mixed vegetables. The main point is that the stuffing should not be runny. You can also make this into a sweet bread with a stuffing of coconut mixed with sugar and some nuts.
- I have made this one as one large bread. You can divide the dough and make it into two breads with different stuffings. You can also make mini braided breads and give a small one to each person. Just keep in mind the size of your oven tray before making this too big.
Stuffed and Braided Bread
- OTG or MIcrowave Oven to bake
- 200 gms All purpose flour
- 60 gms Milk
- 40-50 gms Water
- 3-4 gms Salt
- 15 gms Sugar
- ¾ tsp Instant yeast
- 25 gms Butter Unsalted
- 150 gms Stuffing for the bread
- In a large bowl, take the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, butter and milk. Add water to make it into a soft and sticky dough
- Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes till it comes together and becomes a soft dough ball
- Cover and set it aside in a warm spot till it doubles in volume
- Make the filling of your choice. If it is vegetables like potato, cauliflower, etc then they need to be cooked with some spices. Paneer can be added without cooking. Eggs can be scrambled and added with some onions and spices. I used grated paneer with fresh coriander, garam masala and salt.
- Preheat the oven to 200C
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll it out in an oval shape. The length depends on how large your baking tray is. If it cannot fit the entire dough as one unit then divide the dough into 2 or 3 parts and roll out each into an oval shape
- Make cuts to both sides of the dough at approximately the same height. (Refer to the video for the shaping and braiding of the bread)
- Add the stuffing to the centre
- Take each dough ribbon, cover the stuffing in a crisscross manner. Alternate between the dough ribbon on each side.
- Place an olive or raisin at the head of the bread to represent a fish eye. Make small cuts at the tail of the bread
- Bake for 15-18 minutes till the top starts getting a nice brown colour
- Cool for 5-10 minutes and serve warm
I have updated this post with better pictures and a recipe card as part of a group of like minded bloggers at Foodies Redoing Old Posts
I am sending this to Bakeathon by Srivalli