Baking bread is a pleasant little hobby that I enjoy, usually on days when I plan to stay home and write. Sometimes I will make a huge batch of loaves, about six in one session, and stock my freezer for the coming month. But recently I decided to change my routine and bake once a week. My six loaf routine was getting a little dull.
The Aroma of Toasted Sesame is Heavenly!
We don’t have too many bread bakeries near the ranch, and the grocery store offerings are always disappointing. One of my many reasons to make my own bread is that even if the recipe takes three hours (as this one does) it still takes less time for me to make a loaf of bread than to drive to town to buy one when we run out. Baking bread is a chore that I fit in between other projects.
Baking your Own Bread is Rewarding
Usually I will be writing in my office, and will get stuck on a phrase or idea that just doesn’t sound right. “I know!” Let’s go to the kitchen and make a loaf of bread!” So I leave the writing, work on a loaf, and then go back to my desk while it is rising. During the time that I assemble the ingredients, knead the dough, and then clean up, I have thought through my writing puzzle, and I finish the piece faster than if I had stayed chained to my desk. And, I get a fresh loaf of bread out of my fit of unproductiveness.
Making my own bread is always a win-win.
This recipe for Braided Sesame Loaf is really a good one, and I know I will be adding it more often to my recipe rotation. We ate it too fast to turn it into anything creative like grilled sandwiches, or toast, but that’s all the more reason to make it again.Print
Braided Sesame Bread
- Prep Time: 3 hours
- Cook Time: 30 min
- Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 12 servings
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Continental
3 cups bread flour (375 gr)
1 envelope yeast (2 1/4 tbsp. or 7gr)
1 tsp. salt (4 gr)
1 tbsp. sugar (12.5 gr)
1 cup water (240 ml)
2 tbsp. sesame oil (30 ml)
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp. (15 ml) milk
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds (35 gr)
In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Stir to combine, and then add water and sesame oil. Continue to stir to combine and begin to knead the dough as it comes together. (You may need to add a spoonful more flour or water to get the right firmness for kneading.)
Knead the dough by hand for 8-10 minutes on a floured surface or knead by using the dough hook attachment in an electric mixer for 4-5 minutes.
Coat the interior of a large clean bowl with vegetable oil, and place the kneaded dough in the bowl, turning several times to coat the dough with vegetable oil. Place in a warm area (about 70°-80° F (21°-26°C) and allow to rise for 45 minutes. Punch down, and allow to rise for another 45 minutes.
Punch down again and divide the dough into three equal strips. Roll the strips into long pieces, about 2”x12” (5cm x 30 cm) cylinders. Pinch all three together at their tips, and then braid. Pinch together the tips again when finished braiding, and then tuck both tips under the braided bread to form a nice shape. Brush the bread with the beaten egg and milk mixture, and then top with toasted sesame seeds.
Allow to rise again on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for another 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C).
After the bread has completed the 3rd rise, bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp. Cool completely before slicing.