This Egg Twist Bread is a beautiful and impressive loaf of bread to serve to guests. An egg wash gives the top of this soft bread a nice golden look.
For as much as we love baking bread, I had never tried a braided bread loaf. I’ve seen pictures of them on Pinterest and in cooking magazines and was always just a little bit scared off. I figured there was no way I could get a loaf of bread to look that good.
But I sooooo wanted to taste of one these loaves, so my tummy won out!
My grandma was cleaning out her old books and gave me a huge stack of old church cookbooks. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked through an old church cookbook, but they contain quite the collection of recipes. I felt like I had hit the jackpot!
This Egg Twist Bread was one of the first recipes I came across that I knew I had to try. It’s soft. It’s slightly sweet. It tastes amazing when torn into directly from the oven. Nope. We don’t have much patience around here when it comes to fresh bread!
Don’t let the fact that this is a braided loaf scare you off. You can make this. And you’ll be so glad you did.
Here are just a few hints.
1. Warm the milk in a bowl in the microwave for just about 1-½ minutes until it is warm. Add in the sugar and salt, then stir it. Allow it to sit until it is warm, but not too hot (if you have a thermometer, it should measure about 105-110 degrees in order to proof active dry yeast). You’re going to add the yeast right to this milk and if it is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Our favorite yeast is Red Star Yeast. It works like a charm every time!
2. When the yeast is ready, add the butter (it should be very soft, but not melted) and the eggs. Stir this well until it is all blended.
3. Now you’re going to add the flour. Add in the flour gradually (one cup at a time), ending with the last ½ cup.
4. You’re going to knead this dough for about 7 minutes, adding flour as needed so the dough doesn’t stick to your hands. Be careful not to add too much flour during kneading or your bread will be dry. Your dough should feel sticky, but not stick to your hands. Although most of the time I like to use the stand mixer to knead, for some reason with this bread I knead it by hand. It’s a soft dough and very easy to knead. Feel free to use your stand mixer if you’d like. For those of you who have bread machines, I imagine that you could prepare this dough in the bread maker, too…although I do not have one so I’ve not tried!
5. Allow this dough to rise for one hour, or until it has doubled. Then you get to make your braids! Split the dough into two balls, then split each ball into three pieces. Roll those 3 pieces out into a snake about 12″ long. Braid the three ropes together and tuck/pinch the ends so that the braid does not come undone. Place each braid on a greased baking sheet.
6. Brush the tops with a beaten egg. Don’t skip this step! This is what gives the bread such a lovely golden color! Allow it to rise for another ½ an hour, then bake it for 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Just try not to sneak a piece right when this soft bread comes out of the oven. You’re going to love this one, friends!