Braided milk bread

I love baking.
I love baking for my family, friends, neighbors.
I love baking for my blog.
I love reading your encouraging comments.
I love reading Thank you notes from my friends.
A couple of weeks months ago one of my friends came over asking me if I can bake some rolls for a birthday lunch she was hosting. Before I knew it she talked me into it. 
Later that week, after baking some sour cream rolls for her lunch, I received one of the most heart-touching Thank you notes I got so far.
Few days prior to out trip to South Carolina I baked some cookies and mini milk loaves as a gift for her. 
This bread is a favorite in our house. I usually make one big loaf once a week and use it just for breakfast. You can easily slice it, it doesn’t dry out so quickly and makes the perfect toast. 
You probably noticed I prefer using milk in my yeast breads. Milk enriches the dough and produces a creamy-colored, tender crumb and golden crust. You can use whole milk, low fat or fat free as you wish. You can also use lactose-free milk.
Start by sifting the flour in your mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and let the yeast dissolve. When bubbles appear add some honey, just for a hint of sweetness,  pinch of salt and slowly add lukewarm milk. 
When the dough start to clean itself from the sides of the bowl add some melted butter, for a richer taste. At the lowest speed keep kneading until the butter is incorporated. 
With greased hands place the dough into a clean oiled bowl and let it rise until doubled in volume. If making small braided loaves divide the dough into 12 balls. If just one big loaf, divide it into 3 balls. 
Shape the balls into ropes and braid the loaves. Let them rise once again and just before baking brush with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds (optional) 
Bake until golden-brown. Let it cool down slightly before removing from the baking pan. 

Braided Milk Loaf
makes 4 small loaves or 1 big loaf
Ingredients
4 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 tsp dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm milk
1 tbsp honey
pinch of salt 
1 cup to 1 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
2 tbsp melted butter
egg wash (egg lightly beaten with 1 tbsp water) for brushing
seeds (optional) for sprinkling on top of the bread
oil/melted butter for greasing the bowl and the baking pan(s)
Directions
In a mixing bowl sift the flour. Make a well in the middle, pour 1/4 cup lukewarm milk and sprinkle the yeast on top. Stir the yeast and the milk a little bit and let it proof for about 5-10 minutes, depending on the humidity and heat in your kitchen. There shouldn’t be more than 80F or less than 60F.
When the yeast is bubbled and almost doubled in volume add the honey, a pinch of salt and with the dough hook on start kneading slowly adding enough milk to make a smooth and elastic dough. 
When it clears itself from the sides of the bowl, add the melted butter and keep kneading at the lowest speed until the butter is incorporated.
Take the dough out of the mixing bowl and place it in a clean greased bowl. Cover with plastic foil and let it rise until doubled in volume. It should take about 45-60 minutes. 
When risen, take it out of the bowl and divide into 12 balls (if making mini loaves) or 3 balls if making one big loaf. Shape the balls into ropes and braid them. Place the braid(s) into greased baking pan(s) and let rise again until almost doubled. 
Meanwhile heat the oven at 375F. 
Just before baking brush the bread(s) with egg wash and bake for about 30-40 minutes. Let cool slightly before removing form the baking pan. Cool completely before slicing. 

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    Hello! My name is Roxana and I'm a self-taught baker, wanna-be photographer and the writer behind Roxana's Home Baking, where I share original and adapted scratch recipes. 

Here you'll find no fuss, no hassle easy recipes with ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen.  Read more ....

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Comments

  1. Kate@Diethood says

    Roxana, please give me a slice! I haven't had one of these in years! We call it, "Milibrod" (mee-lee-broad) :)

  2. wendyweekendgourmet says

    Wow…so pretty! Now that I finally conquered my fear of baking bread, I should give this a try.

  3. Mihaela says

    It looks so good! when I saw your post I remember that I tasted a very delicious apple bread today at the farmer's market, the lady said it has apple juice, apple puree and fresh apples in it, it was so good. Do you know any recipes like that? I would like to try it :)

  4. Roxana GreenGirl says

    Mihaela, I have never made apple bread but I love challenges. Going to buy some more apples and see what I come up with. I'm already excited!!

  5. Wendy Irene says

    Your blog looks so beautiful just like your bread! It came out perfectly golden brown. You have such a gift <3

  6. Junia says

    Wow roxana! Your family must eat delicious breakfasts every day, nothing beats homemade bread. I'm just like u, I love baking for my friends and family! And seeing them enjoy it makes me so happy. Btw do u think this recipe could work with non dairy milk? I know you said that the milk makes it creamy n light!

  7. Tanantha says

    You're a great talented baker Roxana!I haven't stopped by here for a while. Your blog looks great and it's so hip with all the social media you have going on. Hugs!

  8. Charlie says

    This bread looks so good! I really, really need to start making my own bread. Especially since I LOVE kneading dough :).

  9. Sandra says

    I made something similar few days ago, and I really loved it! Your recipe is just calling my name:)) I will have to try with poppy seeds..really beautiful and delicious looking!!!

  10. The Harried Cook says

    What a beautiful loaf of bread… I just made a loaf of milk bread last week, but it didn't look half as pretty as yours! And the mini loaf tins are adorable! Your friends who get gifts of bread from you are truly blessed! :) I wish you could send me a loaf! :)

    PS – Love the new look of the blog! :)

  11. Ann says

    Absolutely stunning. I really enjoyed the step-by-step pictures and it was very nice of you to make those rolls….

  12. Mihaela says

    Roxana, multumesc pentru raspunsul rapid :) Chiar m-am avantat si am facut painea cu mere, a iesit bine avand in vedere putina mea experienta in framantat :) Am folosit apple cider, apple butter si mere date pe razatoare, putin cinnamon si nutmeg. Data viitoare o sa folosesc putin mai multe mere sau apple butter si putin mai dulce. Nu este asa pufoasa ca painea ta cu lapte :) Abia astept sa vad si varianta ta. Multumesc! O zi frumoasa!

  13. Koci says

    This bread looks so fluffy and soft. I love it! My mom loves nothing more than freshly baked bread, so I'll have to give this a try sometime soon!

  14. Baking Serendipity says

    Homemade bread once a week?! Can I live at your house? :) This looks fantastic. I can just imagine how perfect it would be toasted for breakfast.

  15. Anne@frommysweetheart says

    This bread is gorgeous! I just bought some poppy seeds at the spice store. Now I know what I'd like to do with them! : )

  16. Sarah-Jane - SiliconeMoulds.com says

    looks lovely Roxan. I adore bread. The braiding make for really pretty tops. Buzzed !

  17. Nami | Just One Cookbook says

    You are a real baker Roxana! I'm envious! I'm going to attend your baking class if you plan to teach in the future! Your braided milk loaf is peeeerfect! I wish I have this for breakfast… with coffee…. hmmm I envy your family. :-)

  18. thecompletecookbook says

    How special that you bake bread for your family every week. :-) Not sure why, but I cannot see any of your pictures today :-( and I would have loved to see your braided loaves. I will try and log on again a little later.
    Have a happy day and thanks again for the lovely mention the other day.
    :-) Mandy

  19. Lisa says

    When I first saw this, I kept thinking of the Hokkaido milk bread which I'm dying to tackle. I think I'll tackle this one first..looks fantastic! Milk gives breads such a soft, fluffy, crumb.

  20. Lizzy says

    Braided breads are my absolute favorites! Your loaves look spectacular…you are such a sweet friend, Roxana!

  21. Heavenly Housewife says

    That bread is just beautiful. It has such a lovely light and fluffy texture, I can tell it wold taste amazing. It makes me want to bake a loaf right now (but i don't want to clean up after LOL).
    *kisses* HH

  22. Dee at Deelicious Sweets says

    Wow! I think I may have a new bread crush! This looks awesome. I am bookmarking this for sure!

  23. Kate @ Kate from Scratch says

    I love homemade bread. It's one of my most favorite things to make, I think. I usually do bread with soup and it's always good to have a lot of recipes on hand. I'm definitely adding this one to the recipe stash. thanks!

    ;)

  24. handsinportugal says

    This looks fantastic. I must try it!

    However, we don't have/use honey in our house. Is there anything I could substitute for it? (sugar? how much? Something else?)

    Thanks for posting

  25. The Mom Chef says

    Your bread is fantastic. It's incredibly beautiful. I've never thought of just replacing water with milk, but it makes a lot of sense. And, if my bread turns out anywhere as beautiful as yours, I'm doing it from now on.

  26. Digital Printing says

    I've never made one! My friends keep on telling me that this bread is really incredible, very perfect for a hot chocolate coffee. So this is really is it! I'm going to try this and see if it's really fantastic!

  27. Foodiva says

    I'm sure your braided loaves look and taste wonderful, I just wonder why I'm not able to see any of your photos on this post?

  28. kankana says

    The breads you bake looks like professional's . even though I started working a lot with yeast, however I am still not able to bake a nice soft bread like yours.

  29. Tina says

    How picture perfect are these! This is the kind of bread that I find hard to resist eating straight out of the oven. Nice of you to make this for your friend-yum!

  30. Sissi says

    Roxana, I have tried to bake it several times, but it never looked half as good and never good enough to post a photo on my blog! You are really talented and so meticulous! The final photo looks like from a magazine!

  31. kita says

    My first milk loaf 'Hulked' out in the pan and totally toppled on itself when I removed it. It was still so soft and delicious on the inside though! Yours looks perfect!

  32. Jill @ Dulce Dough says

    Thank you notes are so nice, and unfortunately so rare these days. Your loaves look so perfect–just beautiful!

  33. Priscilla - She's Cookin' says

    Beautiful bread – so soft and fluffy looking – and I love the poppy seeds on top! I should bake more, but it usually doesn't turn out so well :/

  34. Emily @ Life on Food says

    I wish I could be in your house every week when you make this. I love the smell of fresh bread. This loaf looks beautiful. Great way to say Thanks!

  35. The Procrastobaker says

    This looks truly beautiful. Ive never had a loaf like it as far as i know and hopefully will make time to try it out some day :)

  36. Roxana GreenGirl says

    So sorry for my late respond.
    I tried it with almond milk and one time with soy milk. I didn't notice a difference.
    Hope you'll give it a try!

  37. says

    I made this last month and it was great! I adapted it just a little bit, by using sugar instead of honey and adding a single egg to it- the results were still delicious.
    Thanks for sharing your recipe!
    I’m making a vegan version right now with soy milk. Will post about it once it’s done and taste tested!

  38. Athena says

    Hi, I’m just learning how to make bread so this question is probably a dumb question. Does the milk you use have to be whole milk or can it be 1% milk since that’s what we drink in my house?

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