I’m enamored with braided and twisted bread, and find any excuse to make it. With Easter just around the corner, I decided to make a colorful version of my favorite treat. The loaf turned out lovely, and the bright sprinkles were a hit with kids and adults alike. The ‘braiding’ is actually quite simple to do, and while the it makes a bit of a mess, the final outcome is worth it.
- 2 pounds brioche dough or other sweet dough (I use Bread in 5’s no-knead brioche)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ½ cup (99g) granulated sugar
- Colored sprinkles
- Egg wash (1 large egg, pinch salt, 1 tablespoon water)
Powdered Sugar Glaze
- 1 cup (114g) powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
For the bread
- Grease a 9-inch loaf pan.
- Roll out the brioche dough into a ¼ inch thick rectangle (mine was about 18 x 14 inches).
- Brush the melted butter over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border on all four sides. Sprinkle the sugar over the butter and gently press it into the dough. Cover the sugar with the colored sprinkles (I sprinkled them over in an even layer, about ¼ cups worth).
- Starting with the long end, roll the dough into a log. Trim about 3⁄4 inch off both ends of the roll. Using a scissors or a sharp knife, gently cut the roll into half lengthwise, so the layers of dough and filling are visible. With the cut sides facing up, press together one end of each half, and then lift the right half over the left half, and continue until you have ‘braided’ the entire roll. Carefully lift the bread into the prepared loaf pan. It will seem too big for the pan, but you can twist and tuck it to fit. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours, until the bread rises just above the loaf pan.
- Adjust an oven rack to the lower middle position, and preheat the oven to 350.
- Bake the bread 60-75 minutes, until the bread reaches 200 degrees, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean (if your loaf is browning too quickly, place a sheet of tinfoil loosely over the top of the loaf while it’s baking). Remove the bread from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Invert the bread onto the wire rack and then flip it right side up. Let the bread completely cool before glazing, slicing, and serving.
For the glaze
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk. Add more milk as needed until the desired consistency is reached.
- Top the cooled bread with the glaze, and add more sprinkles if desired.