Easy Spelt Braided Bread has a festive feel. My spelt flour braided bread recipe is similar to many other countries holiday bread use what is known as enriched dough combining milk, eggs and butter to make the bread moist and light. I kept this bread simple and without spice but topped with sesame seeds. Feel free to add spices like cardamom or cinnamon or even a touch of orange zest. Traditionally this bread is shared by being pulled apart to eat we prefer to slice to toast. It stays soft and fresh for at least three days when stored in a sealed container.

Watch my video tutorial on tips to make the perfect (un-split) braided bread. I tried at least 4 times to perfect it before I realised what I was doing wrong.

Takes = 15 minutes prep. resting time 60mins + 10 mins + 30 mins
Bakes = 30 minutes
Makes = one large loaf (about 12 thick slices)

Ingredients for 1 loaf

  • Milk (oat milk works well) – 200ml to 250ml (3/4 to 1 cup)* start with 200ml first then add more if needed
  • Sugar or honey – 1.5 tablespoon
  • Unsalted Butter – 40g (1/4 cup)
  • Fast dried yeast – 1 x 7g packet or 2.5 teaspoons
  • White Spelt Flour – 450g (3 cups + 4 tbsp) + extra for kneading and dusting (about 1/4 cup)
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Eggs – 3 divided (1 left for the top)
  • Sesame Seeds (natural)– 1 tablespoon
sliced fresh out of the oven

Method

Step 1
WARM milk, sugar and stir until sugar or honey is dissolved. Add butter to melt. Allow to cool slightly.

Step 2
WHISK flour and yeast. Using a dough hook on your stand mixer or by hand pour in the liquid, add in beaten eggs and salt then knead for about 5 minutes until it's smooth and forms a ball. The bowl should be clean and the dough will pull away from the sides. It should be slightly sticky but if needed add a little more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add flour to your hands and remove from the bowl and place on your floured bench and gently form a ball. Drizzle some oil to your bowl and place the dough back in and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 60 minutes until doubled in size. Ensure that it is in a warm room and away from any drafts.

Step 3
ONCE the dough has doubled. You can do the poke test by pressing your finger tip into the dough and if the dough slowly returns then it is ready. Remove the dough from your bowl and gently knock out some of the air by folding and then let it rest again for 5 to 10 minutes. Grease and line with baking paper a large baking tray.

Step 4
DIVIDE the dough into 3 equal portions, you could weight to be accurate. Roll into long sausage lengths about 38cm (15 inches) long. Place the ropes diagonally on your lined baking tray. Pinch the tops at the end furtherest from you wet with water to seal if needed. Then start to form the braid like platting hair. Far side over and into the middle then repeat in a tight braid until the end. Pinch and tuck the end together and fold under at both ends. Cover and rest again for 30 minutes. See the video for step by step instructions.

Step 5
PREHEAT oven to 170˚C fan, Gas mark 5.

Step 6
BEAT the egg for the egg wash, then lightly brush the top and sides. Sprinkle with sesame seeds now if desired. Then bake on the lower rack for 25 to 30 mins. If the bread starts to brown too quickly then cover with a tent of foil.

Sue Maree P Spelt Bread Baking Tips

  • KNEADING don't be afraid of having a sticky dough, remember the more hydrated the better result. However, if you vary your brands of spelt flour or combination of white and wholegrain you may need a little less milk or slightly more flour. You can knead the last part by hand and sprinkle a little. You get to know the right texture. Sometimes the weather can also impact bread making.