While this braided bread recipe isn’t specifically French, it’s so beautiful and delicious that I had to share it! This cinnamon braided bread with fresh berries is perfect for brunch, tea time, or just because!
Braided Bread Recipe
One of the food bloggers that I follow, Joy the Baker, is holding a baking bootcamp with King Arthur Flour. The bootcamp consists of baking challenges to get people in their kitchen, trying out recipes they might be intimidated to try.
One of those recipes includes this cinnamon braided bread with berry filling.
This braided bread recipe with yeast utilizes active dry yeast to help create a fluffy, yet durable dough that can stand up to braiding and maintaining its structure as it bakes.
The two ends of the braided bread are turned toward each other and pinched together to create a wreath, or as the French call it a couronne.
How to Braid Dough
For this braided bread recipe, you’ll first spread the filling all over the rolled out dough.
The filling for this bread contains a cinnamon butter compound and a mix of fresh berries. I used strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
Once the filling is spread out, the dough is rolled up into a log, very similar to the way cinnamon rolls are done. This log is then split down the middle, with the exception of one end of the log.
One end remains intact so that the log adopts the shape of a wishbone. The two long strips that result are braided over each other to create this delectable, triple berry braided bread.
While a braided bread can seem intimidating to make, I find that as long as you use careful and gentle hands, it’s not a difficult recipe to make.
Baking Braided Bread
The original recipe for this braided bread calls for a cast iron skillet when baking the dough.
Because I have small hands, however, I find that lifting the braided wreath into a pan isn’t as easy. Instead, I use a springform pan where I slide the dough off my work board and onto the greased pan.
What you end up with is a fragrant, sweet bread to enjoy as breakfast or a dessert. The bread is soft and fluffy, and deliciously flavored with cinnamon, sugar, and butter.
Using fresh berries is important so that you get the best flavor and smell out of your bread. I dusted the top of mine with powdered sugar, which makes the bread look a little more beautiful (if that’s even possible!).
for the dough
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup milk (105 to 110 degrees F)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 1/4 cups King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Oil for greasing the bowl
- Powdered Sugar for dusting
- 1 large egg, beaten for egg wash
for the filling
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cups fresh berries (sliced strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
- In a medium bowl, mix the yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar together. Stream in the warm milk and stir. Add in the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Give it a gentle whisk. Set aside for 5 minutes, until mixture is frothy and bubbly.
- In your mixer's bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture in and knead the dough on low speed until a compact ball is formed. Grease a large bowl before placing your dough ball in it. Roll the ball around so that the dough is covered in oil. Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- In the meanwhile, create the filling by beating 1/4 cup of room temperature butter in a small bowl. Add the 1/4 cup of sugar and beat it with the butter until light and fluffy. Add the ground cinnamon and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Flour your work surface and hands well before transferring your dough from the bowl to your work space. Knead the dough a couple of times before rolling it flat into a large rectangle about 18" x 12".
- Divide the filling into 3 large dollops, and place them apart from each other onto the dough. Spread the filling out, leaving a 1 inch clear border all along the edges of the rectangle. Evenly disperse your berries on top of the filling.
- Grab the long side of your dough that is furthest from you and gently begin rolling it in toward you, using a typewriter-like motion. Make sure you end up with the seam facing down, and that you pinch the ends of the roll closed to seal the dough.
- Use a sharp knife to slice length-wise down the center of the dough roll, leaving the top end of the roll uncut (you want to end up with a wishbone shape). Gently turn the dough legs so that the sides with the sliced opening are facing upward.
- Pinch and adjust the dough to keep everything intact. Gently lift the left side over the right side to start your braid. Again pinch and adjust dough as needed. Continue the braid by again lifting the left side over the right, and then repeating this one more time.
- Circle the ends of the braid in toward each other to create a wreath shape, pinching the ends together to close the circle. Grease a 9-inch springform pan (or cast iron skillet) before lifting or sliding your dough onto the pan.
- Brush the dough with your beaten egg before baking at 375°F for 25 minutes. Allow bread to cool for at least 30 minutes before dusting with powdered sugar (optional) and serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215