French Bread Braids

I’m somewhat “braid-challenged”, but the photo of these French bread loaves looked so pretty, I had to try them.  The dough was easy to handle, and they are inexpensive to make – they only cost me 88¢ for both loaves!  I do buy yeast in 1# bags, which cuts the cost.  The loaves weighed about a pound each, baked.
I plan to use one loaf for French bread pizza, half of one for roast beef sandwiches, and the remainder for garlic bread.
   French Bread Braids
  4 ¾- 5 ¾  cups  flour, all-purpose (1#  6 1/2 oz)
  1    tablespoon  sugar
  3    teaspoons  salt
  2    packages  instant yeast (4 teaspoons)
  2    cups  water  - heat to 120-125°
  2    tablespoons  shortening (1 ounce)
  1    tablespoon  water
  1    large  egg -- white
Grease cookie sheets (I used parchment paper).
Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. (Or weigh flour into mixer bowl, remove and set aside 1 cup.)
In large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast; mix well.  In small saucepan, heat 2 cups water and shortening until very warm 120-125°.
Add warm liquid to flour mixture.  With paddle attachment blend until moistened.  Add remaining flour.   Change to dough hook.  Knead for 6 minutes.
Cover and let rest about 10 minutes.
Punch down, divide dough in half; divide each half into 3 equal parts (about 6 ½ ounces each).  Roll each part into 14" rope; place 3 ropes side by side on each greased cookie sheet.  Braid 3 ropes loosely from center to each end.  Pinch ends together; tuck under to seal.  Repeat with remaining dough.
In small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of water with egg white, beat slightly.  Carefully brush over loaves (save the mixture).  Cover lightly with greased wax paper or plastic wrap, then a cloth towel.  Let rise until light and about doubles, 15-20 minutes.  Brush again lightly with egg white mixture.
Bake at 357° for 25-30 minutes.  Cool immediately on wire racks.
 "Down Home Cooking and Baking p16-17"
  "Two 1 pound loaves"
Per Serving: 70 Calories; 1g Fat (13.3% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 6mg Cholesterol; 180mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.
I made French bread pizzas with one loaf and shared the other with Myrna for garlic bread.


  1. Those loaves look pretty good. I've been thinking about trying my hand at bread again, so I think I'll try out this recipe pretty soon... though I expect I'm probably also in the "braid challenged" category.

  2. I say "Who cares what it looks like so long as it tastes good!"

    And I am betting it does! Lovely braids my dear!

  3. You make it look so easy. I just may give this ah try.

  4. Yep--French Bread Pizzas!!!

    This recipe would be perfect either as bread or as a base for pizza, and it's beautiful as well!


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