Thursday, March 5, 2009

Celebration Bread Braid and "Better Butter"

This bread is so beautiful and tastes wonderful! I love to make this bread for special occasions or to give as a gift. It isn't any harder to make than traditional yeast bread, you just follow the simple 4 strand braid techniques as explained in the recipe below. Let me just tell you, this bread is impressive.... both in beauty and in flavor! You can also find the recipe here.

"Better Butter" makes the perfect companion to this bread. Better butter is a recipe from the More with Less cookbook. (If you do not have this cook book I highly recommend it. In fact my neighbor blessed me with a new copy! Thank you, Peggy!) I was raised with many More With Less recipes. Simple, wholesome, frugal food.

Better Butter
Set butter out and bring to room temperature. In blender whip together equal parts of butter and oil (I use canola). Whip till very creamy. Store in containers in the fridge... will stay soft and yummy!

Variations: Honey Butter.... simply add in some honey in replace of some oil.
Cinnamon Butter.... add in some brown sugar and cinnamon
Garlic and Herb.... add in some garlic powder and herbs

Put some Better Butter in a pretty jar and give that along with a loaf of Celebration Bread and you have a fantastic and frugal gift that any one will enjoy! Home made bread is just about the ultimate comfort food! My mouth is watering just looking at the picture! I am glad that my friend, Becky, is bringing a loaf of this to our "mom's group" Bible study luncheon tomorrow! For more Frugal ideas visit Biblical Womanhood.

Celebration Bread Braid

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon cold water

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the butter, sugar, salt, eggs and 3 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into four pieces. Shape each piece into an 18-in. rope. Place ropes parallel to each other on a greased baking sheet. Beginning from the right side, braid dough by placing the first rope over the second rope, under the third and over the fourth. Repeat three or four times, beginning each time from the right side. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Beat egg yolk and water; brush over braid. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 loaf.


Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
Heather

1 comment:

ValleyGirl said...

YUMMMM!!! It DOES look and sound delicious! I love reading through my More With Less cookbook, but haven't actually ever used any of the recipes. It's a bit of a heritage thing for me, being a Mennonite and all, and I love to imagine living 50 years ago and making those simple, homey foods. I like to think I make simple, homey food now, too, but it's just different!