Fresh Baked Friday: Garlic Herb Braided Bread

Alright, I promised a "healthier" recipe this week, but everything is relatively healthier compared to last week's chocolate-bomb cookies.

Whether you consider bread to be a healthy treat or not, this recipe is sure to wow your family and friends. They'll think you've been studying under a professional baker for the past several months and slaved away over your oven for hours to create this artistic loaf of fragrant and flavorful bread.

Joke's on them though, because it only takes a little over an hour including rest, rise and baking time to make! When the bread is finished your house will smell like an authentic bakery, rich with the scent of yeast, herbs and garlic. Try it out and let me know how it goes!

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Garlic Herb Braided Bread

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
3 tbsp sugar
2 packages (or 4 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
2 tsp dried basil 
1 3/4 tsp dried dill weed
3/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup water
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg
3 tbsp melted butter (for brushing on baked bread)

  1. In a large bowl or stand mixer, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, basil, dill weed, rosemary and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine skim milk, water and butter over medium-high heat and stir until butter is melted. Do not boil.
  3. Stir in warm butter mixture to dry ingredients until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Beat in the egg.
  5. In the stand mixer or by hand, add remaining flour a little at a time until dough is smooth and not sticky. You may need a little extra flour to make sure the dough is not too sticky.
  6. Knead in a mixer or by hand for 5 minutes. Form into a round ball.
  7. Cover dough ball with a clean towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. When dough has rested, separate into three even sections using a knife or pizza cutter. Roll sections into long strands, about 18 inches long.
  9. Grease a baking sheet and loosely braid three strands together on the sheet.
  10. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Let the bread rise for 25 minutes or until doubled.
  11. Preheat the oven to 375 and bake bread for 20 to 25 minutes.
  12. Remove bread from oven and immediately brush with melted butter. 

Try your hand at bread baking this holiday season. Homemade loaves of bread make fantastic gifts.

Thank you to Lifesafeast for this incredible and easy bread recipe! 

Kylie K.