This easy recipe for braided bread is so simple, that anyone can make it!

Make this slightly sweet, fluffy loaf with a honey egg wash that produces the most beautiful golden-brown color!

loaf of Homemade Braided Bread

An Easy Braided Bread Recipe

  • Braided bread may seem intimidating but the recipe below is really easy to make.
  • This braided bread has a rich flavor with a light cake-like ‘crumb’. It’s perfect for French toast or with a simple swipe of strawberry or cinnamon butter.
  • Or serve it for breakfast alongside eggs in purgatory or with a plain poached egg.
Close up photo of braided Bread that has had the end sliced off.

Ingredients for Braided Bread

Eggs – Use fresh large eggs at room temperature for faster and smoother mixing. Add one extra egg yolk in Step 2 for a richer flavor.

Milk – Whole milk makes braided bread rich and flavorful. Half and half or non-dairy milk will work but won’t deliver as much flavor. The best non-dairy alternative to milk for baking is oat milk because its creamy consistency is closest to whole milk.

Flour – Braided bread uses bread flour, which makes the dough more elastic (easier to braid) and lighter.

Variations

  • Add raisins and dried fruit like cherries or cranberries in Step 2.
  • Seasonings like nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, or pumpkin spice will produce a fragrant loaf with a warmer flavor.
  • For savory braided bread, add garlic powder or fresh herbs and bake the bread with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese over the egg wash.
A pastry brush brushing egg wash on braided bread.

How to Make Braided Bread

  1. Using a stand mixer, prepare the dough (per recipe below) and transfer it to a greased bowl. Cover with a damp dishcloth to proof for 1 hour.
  2. Gently knead the dough on a lightly floured surface, return to the bowl, and allow to rise for another hour.
  3. Divide the dough into the number of braids and shape them into evenly-sized logs. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
  4. Braid the dough and place it on a greased baking sheet.
  5. Prepare egg wash and brush over braided bread. Proof 40 minutes. Repeat this process.
  6. Bake as directed. Allow bread to cool completely before slicing.
Homemade Braided Bread sliced on a plate

Tips for Yeast Bread

  • If using active dry yeast, bloom it first by mixing it with the milk and water for about 10-15 minutes (see notes below).
  • The egg wash process is more than a presentation! It keeps the dough moist, allowing the dough to rise in Steps 1, 2, and 3 before it’s baked.
  • Resist the urge to ‘over roll’ the dough. The logs should be evenly sized and thick, a thin long loaf will dry out faster. Choose the number of logs you want and line them up vertically to you. A small amount of water at the top of the beginning of the bread is a good way to secure the ends before you start braiding, just press them onto each other and when the braid is complete, tuck the ends under.
  • Freeze an unbaked loaf of braided bread on a baking sheet and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Thaw overnight before baking.

Easy Bread Recipes

How did your Braided Bread turn out? Leave a rating and a comment below!

Overhead photo of baked Challah bread on a blue baking sheet.
4.97 from 31 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Homemade Braided Bread

Braided Bread is beautifully woven and baked into a light, fluffy, and slightly sweet loaf!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Proof Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Total Time 5 hours
Servings 16 servings
Author Rebecca

Ingredients  

Bread

  • ½ tablespoon Instant yeast (also called Rapid Rise Yeast) *dry active yeast alternative below
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup whole milk heated between 120-130°F
  • ¾ cup water heated between 120-130°F
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks save whites for eggwash
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Egg Wash

  • 2 large egg whites leftover from the bread
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Instructions 

  • Mix together the yeast, flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.
  • With the mixer running on "stir" speed, pour in the milk and water. Then add in the honey, egg, egg yolks, and vegetable oil. Increase speed to medium and knead for 5 to 6 minutes until the dough completely pulls away from the bowl and is no longer sticky to the touch.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a large greased bowl and cover with a damp dishcloth and proof (rise) for 1 hour.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl with the top right side up on a lightly floured surface. Pull the edges of the dough from 4 points, flip, and work in a circular motion on the counter to seal, then place back in the bowl. Cover the dough with the damp dishcloth again and proof for an additional hour.
  • Remove from the bowl and evenly divide the dough into the number of braids you want, I like to use 4. Shape the dough into logs. Cover the dough logs with the damp dishcloth and let them rest for 20 minutes.
  • Roll each log out into 1 ½-inch strips of dough, working from the center and rolling with your hands, tapering the dough at the ends. Secure one end of dough strips together and braid. Place bread on a greased baking sheet.

Egg Wash

  • Make egg wash with the leftover egg whites, water, and honey, and brush it on the bread. Proof uncovered for 40 minutes.
  • Apply another coat of the egg wash then proof for an additional 40 minutes.
  • Apply a final coat of egg wash before baking.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and reduce it to 325°F as soon as you put the bread in the oven to bake. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and place an aluminum foil tent over the top and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
  • The bread should sound hollow when you tap on the top and the top should be golden brown when done. Braided bread should have an internal temperature of 190°F when baked. Let cool completely before cutting.

Notes

To use dry active yeast, bloom it first by mixing it with the milk and water in a measuring cup and letting it activate for about 10 to 15 minutes. The liquid ingredients should be between 105°F and 115°F for proper blooming or it can kill the yeast.
Additions: Add 1 cup raisin or dried fruit into the dough in step 2 if desired. Or top with sesame or poppy seeds after the final egg wash (before baking). 
You can freeze the bread dough right after braiding. It will need about 6 to 8 hours to thaw and rise before baking.
4.97 from 31 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 167 | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Bread
Cuisine American
sliced Homemade Braided Bread with a title
sweet Homemade Braided Bread with writing
Homemade Braided Bread cut into slices with a title
loaf of Homemade Braided Bread and a photo of the loaf sliced with a title

Categories:

, , , ,

Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!

Follow us on Pinterest

Recipes you'll love

About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
See more posts by Holly

Follow Holly on social media:

pinterest facebook twitter instagram

Free eBook!

Subscribe to receive weekly recipes and get a FREE Bonus e-book: Quick & Easy Weeknight Meals!

You can unsubscribe anytime by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of emails you receive.

Latest & Greatest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. I have never braided before but it is easy once you know how. The bread turned out amazing, the family loved it. I make it once a week now for family supper.
    Thank you very much.5 stars

  2. I’m confused about step 4 where you describe pulling the dough in from four points?? If you could provide photos/video to explain that would be very helpful!

    1. Hi Coleen, you would take the dough from four sides (like a square) and pull it to the middle of the dough. You then flip the dough over, and shape it into a ball, sealing the bottom together. Hope that helps! Enjoy the delicious bread!

  3. Overall, this recipe worked very well! There are a minor issues to note:
    * The egg wash (2 egg whites + oil + honey) works great, but you end up with too much of it. That’s fine, just be aware that you’ll be discarding half the egg wash.
    * The bake time is ~10m more than listed.
    * Pro-tip: Don’t slice it. *Pull* it! The whole point is that the dough pulls apart in lovely wispy tufts! :)4 stars

  4. Wow, this one took some time but it is worth it! I’ve been trying my bread making skills and this one looked interesting! I even watched some videos on different braiding! SO FUN! I used the 4 braid and it really came out well! Love your recipes!5 stars