How to Make a Braided Bread Basket
Are you looking to host a party for friends, or need an imaginative appetiser to bring to a family picnic? Braided bread baskets are a unique and impressive way to present refreshments and snacks – not to mention incredibly fun to make! This modest basketweave of bread dough really is as simple as pie, meaning you can serve up your scrumptious salads and sides – and eat the tasty baked basket too!
- 200g of Bread Flour
- 20g of Sugar
- 100ml of Water
- 4g of Yeast
- 1 Beaten Egg
- 20g of Melted Butter
- ½ tsp of Salt
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Rolling Pin
- Oven Safe Mixing Bowl
- Tin Foil
- Clean Tea Towel or Clingfilm
- Baking Tray
- Pastry Brush
- Cooling Rack
METHOD: Show-Stopping Edible Bread Basket
Prepare an oven-safe mixing bowl (of your preferred size) with tin foil. Simply turn the bowl upside down and cover the entirety of it with foil, then set aside.
Make your bread dough by combining flour, sugar, yeast and salt and mixing for one minute, then add water and half of the beaten egg and mix again.
Add the butter and combine until you have dough. Then, knead until smooth and elastic; this should take about 10 minutes.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover it with clingfilm or a clean tea towel, and then leave it to prove in a warm place for around 30 minutes. Once you’ve retrieved your dough, punch down and roll it into a smooth ball. Put it back in to prove to allow it to rise again, for a further 10 minutes.
Transfer your risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten and roll it out into a large square measuring 11” x 11” across and ½” thick, then use a sharp knife to cut out ½” wide strips.
Lay a flat strip over your bowl so that it reaches around from one side to the other. Repeat this process with the other strips until the bowl is covered. Keep spacing between the strips to create a basketweave effect. Take a cup and flatten the dough down on top of the bowl.
Take the remaining strips and weave them horizontally across the bowl, over and under the strips already there. Repeat this until the entire basket is weaved.
Carefully trim off any excess dough. Using any remaining dough, roll two long strips, plait them, and then place the plaited dough around the rim of the basket. Transfer your bowl onto a greased baking tray and leave to prove in a warm place for around 35 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan or gas mark 6). When your bread basket has risen, dip a pastry brush into the remaining egg mixture and apply over the surface of the basket. Ensure that you brush around the basket and not up and down; this will help to create definition for your weaved pattern.
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown in colour. Once baked, remove it from the oven and leave it to cool completely on a cooling rack, before carefully removing the bread basket from the foil bowl. There you have it – a handcrafted, edible bread basket!
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