Fluffy Buttery Rosemary Braids

These bread braids are fluffy, soft, and light, and super easy to make. Like a cross between brioche and challah bread, this recipe is great for french toast.

A couple years ago I was very enthusiastic about baking bread at home, but nowadays there are only a few breads that I find worthwhile to make myself. Crusty baguettes and sourdoughs I buy from a bakery, but I make my own sandwich bread, my own soft pretzels and breadsticks, and my own loaves like this. The kinds that are fluffy instead of crusty.

This Fluffy Buttery Rosemary Loaf reminds me of a cross between a challah and brioche. It’s very eggy, buttery, and light. Taking it hot from the oven and slathering it with salted butter…oh, it’s lots of fun.

To get started, combine water, yeast, and sugar, and let sit until foamy:

These bread braids are fluffy, soft, and light, and super easy to make. Like a cross between brioche and challah bread, this recipe is great for french toast.

Add flour and salt, and knead with a dough hook until a ball forms:

These bread braids are fluffy, soft, and light, and super easy to make. Like a cross between brioche and challah bread, this recipe is great for french toast.

Knead in eggs and butter, and notice it smooths out nicely:

These bread braids are fluffy, soft, and light, and super easy to make. Like a cross between brioche and challah bread, this recipe is great for french toast.

Let the dough rise, then flour your work surface:

These bread braids are fluffy, soft, and light, and super easy to make. Like a cross between brioche and challah bread, this recipe is great for french toast.

Divide the dough into six even pieces:

These bread braids are fluffy, soft, and light, and super easy to make. Like a cross between brioche and challah bread, this recipe is great for french toast.

Roll into long ropes, then braid three ropes together:

These bread braids are fluffy, soft, and light, and super easy to make. Like a cross between brioche and challah bread, this recipe is great for french toast.

You will have two loaves, but you want to bake them on their own baking sheet. Trust me, they will get huge!

These bread braids are fluffy, soft, and light, and super easy to make. Like a cross between brioche and challah bread, this recipe is great for french toast.

Let rise again, then bake until golden and beautiful. Brush with fresh rosemary butter when it gets out of the oven:

These bread braids are fluffy, soft, and light, and super easy to make. Like a cross between brioche and challah bread, this recipe is great for french toast.

You can either cut it into slices, like this:

These bread braids are fluffy, soft, and light, and super easy to make. Like a cross between brioche and challah bread, this recipe is great for french toast.

Or simply pull it apart with your fingers:

These bread braids are fluffy, soft, and light, and super easy to make. Like a cross between brioche and challah bread, this recipe is great for french toast.

Either way, totally delicious. Enjoy!

Fluffy Buttered Rosemary Braids

These bread braids are fluffy, soft, and light, and super easy to make. Like a cross between brioche and challah bread, this recipe is great for french toast.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 package (2.25 tsp) instant yeast
  • 1.75 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.75 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten + 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
  • 1.5 sticks (12 tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 6 pieces, plus 2 tablespoons melted for brushing
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for five minutes until foamy.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours and salt.
  3. Add eggs and flour mixture to yeast and combine roughly with a wooden spoon. Place the bowl on the mixer and fit with the dough hook, and knead on medium-high speed until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. This will take about five minutes.
  4. Beat in the butter one piece at a time until fully incorporated and the dough is sticky but firm. If the dough is too sticky you can add a little more flour a tablespoon at a time until it’s no longer sticky (tacky is okay). Keep in mind adding more flour makes bread more dense.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the warmest spot in your kitchen to rise. Let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
  6. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and chill the dough for at least two hours, or overnight.
  7. Line two large baking sheets with parchment or a silpat.
  8. Once the dough has chilled, divide it into six equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a 16-inch-long rope. Braid the ropes on the prepared sheet trays. Press the ends to seal. Set aside and allow to rise for 1 hour.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Brush the braids with egg wash and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. While the bread is baking add the chopped rosemary leaves to the 2 tablespoons of melted butter. After the bread has baked for 20 minutes, remove from oven and brush with rosemary butter. Return to oven and bake for another 8 minutes. Allow the bread to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

Dough recipe adapted from January Issue of Martha Stewart Magazine

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