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Tag Archives | Loaf

Braided Italian Bread

Braided Italian Bread made with biga, generously sprinkled with sesame seeds.

The Sauce: Biga – An overnight fermented starter made with flour, water and yeast that is used to make Italian bread.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 


Biga is an overnight fermented starter used to make Italian bread. It increases the flavor profile and complexity of the dough. It’s a boost beyond the leavening of baker’s yeast but not distinct and zesty like sourdough. The bread tastes slightly nutty but not tangy.

It only takes a minute to mix biga the evening before. While you dream away the night; flour, water and yeast bubble, expand and grow on your kitchen counter developing into a delicious bread making agent. After 8 to 12 hours, mix, knead and bake Italian bread just like most any homemade yeast dough but the crusty, golden loaves have more complex flavor and that distinct Italian style. This one is braided and generously sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Two Loaves Braid baked
I love to bake it in my half round double bread pan so the rising and baking creates a nice rounded loaf of crusty bread. It’s especially good dipped in Italian Bread Dipping Oil with garlic, herbs and syrupy aged balsamic vinegar with extra virgin olive oil.

You may also enjoy Antipasto, Florentine Lasagna Rolls, Amatriciana, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Italian Spaghetti Ragu, Andrew’s Pizza, Bramwell Spaghetti Sauce, Genovese Pesto, Garlic Vinaigrette, Caprese Salad, Chicken Alfredo Campanelle and Zuppa Toscana.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Wild Animal Sugar Cookies
2011 AniversaRecipe – Chicken with Apple Cider and Bacon

Recipe: Braided Italian Bread

Prep Time: 25 Minutes | Inactive Time: 11-15 Hours | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Yield: 2 Loaves | Level: Moderate

Biga Biga/Overnight Starter

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup flour

Bread Dough

  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal

Egg White Wash and Sesame Seeds Crusty Top

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1/4 cup untoasted sesame seeds

Special Equipment – baking sheet or double half circle loaf pan

Biga/Overnight Starter
1 Combine 1/2 cup water and 1/8 tsp yeast in a small bowl. Stir in flour until well mixed. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight or up to 12 hours.

Bread Dough Dough
1 Combine the starter, 2/3 cup water, 2 tsp yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add 2 cups flour and stir until dough comes together. Dump on a work surface and knead for 10 minutes. Work in 2-3 more tablespoons of flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Kneaded dough will become fairly smooth and elastic.

Dough Rising2 Place in a lightly oiled bowl and turn over so the dough top is oiled. Cover and let rise for 90 minutes.

3 Meanwhile oil a half circle double loaf pan and dust with cornmeal shaking off excess.

4 Divide dough into six even pieces. Roll 1 piece into 18” long rope while holding above the work space and letting the rolling

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motion and weight of the dough lengthen and smooth the rope. Repeat 2 more times.
Braiding loaf





5 Braid the three ropes tucking in the ends. Place in one side of the half circle loaf pan. Repeat with remaining 3 pieces of dough.
Braiding loaf






Crust Top
6 Combine egg white and water in a small bowl. Lightly brush over the surface of the loaves. Sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds. Cover and let rise until very puffy, about 75 minutes.

7 Meanwhile 15 minutes before final rise ends, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a pan of hot water on the bottom oven rack.
Dough Rising





8 Bake loaves for 25-30 minutes, shorter for softer crust, longer for crunchier crust. Cool on a wire rack or turn off the oven and allow to cool in the oven with the door ajar.

If you don’t have a half round bread pan, divided the dough into 3 equal pieces and braid one larger loaf. Place on an oiled baking sheet and rise for 75 minutes. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.

One Loaf Braid
One Loaf Braid raised
One Loaf Braid baked











Serve Braided Italian Bread with Italian Bread Dipping Oil. Also serve with Antipasto, Florentine Lasagna Rolls, Amatriciana, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Italian Spaghetti Ragu, Andrew’s Pizza, Bramwell Spaghetti Sauce, Genovese Pesto, Garlic Vinaigrette, Caprese Salad, Chicken Alfredo Campanelle and Zuppa Toscana.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange 2 teaspoons of instant yeast for 2 tablespoons of active yeast but add it to 2/3 cup warm water and allow to bloom for 5 minutes before combining with flour and salt.

Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Braided Italian Bread
Written by
Photographs and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: September 5, 2013

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Raspberry Loaf Cake

Light yogurt loaf cake with milled flaxseed, iced and garnished with fresh raspberries.

The Sauce: Vanilla Icing – Cooked icing with powdered sugar, milk, butter and vanilla extract is poured over the cake while still warm. In ten minutes the icing sets up and holds the berries.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Loaf pan for a cake

Dense cake-like breads such as Banana, Pumpkin and Zucchini bake in loaf pans. They’re sometimes iced then sliced. Baked loaf-style and iced, this Raspberry Loaf Cake is in the same shape but very light. It’s made with yogurt rather than fat and has milled flaxseed in the batter.

Sliced Raspberry Loaf CakeFresh raspberries are placed on the top right after the icing is poured along the top. I love to set them with the rounded side up like little ruby crowns. Finish it with a little fairy dust (milled flaxseed). It’s a fresh and fruity dessert that’s light enough to enjoy without guilt.

You might also enjoy Orange Coconut Bread, Chocolate Raspberry Torte, Jumbleberry Pie, Financiers, Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream, Strawberry and Cream Pound Cupcakes and Strawberry Chiffon Cake.

4 of 4 part series ”Berry Season Desserts”. Part 1 Blueberry Cheesecake, Part 3 Berries Van Gogh and Part 4 Cherry Slab Pie. Click here and here for more about berries.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Chicken Thighs with Smoky Sweet Dry Rub
2011 AniversaRecipe – Maple Coconut Granola and Slalamagoo

Recipe: Raspberry Loaf Cake

Prep Time: 25 Minutes | Cook Time: 55 Minutes | Yield: 8-10 Servings | Level: Moderate

Raspberry Loaf Cake

  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugarBatter with raspberries
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp milled flaxseed, plus more for garnish
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, divided

Vanilla Icing

  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 6 Tbsp whole milk, divided
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided

Special Equipment – 9×4 1/2 or 10×4 loaf pan

Raspberry Loaf Cake
1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9×4 1/2 or 10×4 loaf pan with cooking spray, line with parchment and lightly spray again.

flour and milled flax2 With a stand mixer beat granulated sugar, eggs, yolks and vanilla until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

3 Meanwhile combine flour, yeast, 3/4 teaspoon salt and flaxseed in a small bowl.

4 In another small bowl combine yogurt and 2 tablespoons melted butter.

baked loaf cake5 Fold flour mixture into egg mixture with spatula. Fold in yogurt mixture. Carefully fold in 1/2 cup raspberries.

6 Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake at 375 degrees until toothpick comes out clean, about 47-53 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes then remove from pan and finish cooling.

Vanilla Icing
7 Melt 2 tablespoons softened butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Stir in 4 tablespoons milk, vanilla and salt. Whisk in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until icing is thick but pourable. Adjust with additional milk as needed.

Iced Raspberry Loaf Cake8 Pour icing over cooled cake allowing to drip over sides. Garnish with remaining 1/2 cup raspberries and flaxseed. Let icing set for 10 minutes before slicing.

You can bake it in a 9×9 baking pan for a more traditional shape cake. Adjust baking time by removing from oven when top springs back to a light touch. Ice then garnish with fresh raspberries and milled flaxseed.

Serve this for a late night dessert or with afternoon herbal tea.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange Greek yogurt for regular strained yogurt.

Inspiration – Martha Stewart
Cook with Sauces
Raspberry Loaf Cake
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: July 23, 2013

Continue Reading · 0

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