a braided bread for special occasions – made easy with a food processor
This bread has been a favorite around our house for years. There’s hardly ANY time at all in the actual preparation. No muscles required, no sporty (red or otherwise) stand mixer to pull out of its cupboard. Just a food processor and a couple simple ingredients and you’re in the bakin’ business. Of course, like all yeasted breads, there’s time spent loitering around. You design what form your loitering will take, but here’s how to make the bread – so easy, you might confuse it with play. First, I’ll give of all the instructions for the basic braided loaf (in the style of Challah, a Jewish egg bread.) Then I’ll show you how to adapt it so as to end up with a Greek-style festive Easter bread.
1 large egg
1 scant Tablespoon dry Yeast (1 pkg)
3 Tablespoons Sugar
2/3 cup Water (105° to 115º F) —See NOTE
Bread Flour – 3 cups (15 ounces, 425 g) or more
¼ cup Safflower or other neutral-tasting oil — See NOTE on Ingredients
2 large Eggs
1 teaspoon Salt
Poppy or Sesame seeds (optional)
NOTE: Milk brought to temperature may be substituted for the water. Melted butter may be used in place of the oil. Both of these substitutions will result in a richer loaf.
(makes 2 loaves)
In the bowl of the processor, whir the egg and salt together, then pour into a small cup and reserve. No need to wash the work bowl.