There’s nothing like the taste and smell of freshly baked homemade bread. And there is something special and really pretty about its braided version. I’ve never made bread using fresh yeast before but I’ve always wanted to. There’s no better timing for delicious homemade bread than a New Year’s Eve feast, when all your family gets together and enjoys a great time and meal to say goodbye to the old year and hello to the new one. If you are the first one in your family to get up in the morning, baking this bread on a Sunday morning for your family to wake up to is also a great idea. The recipe I’ve found was for one big braided loaf of wheat bread but I decided to make small spelt versions of it. They looked and tasted divine!
500g spelt flour
1 tsp Himalayan salt
90g sour cream
1,2 dl warm water
1,3 dl warm milk
21g fresh yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
0,5 dl warm water
Milk for glazing
1. Mix 0,5 dl warm water, sugar and fresh yeast to activate the yeast (it should take about 10 minutes).
2. Place the flour in a plastic bowl for dough raising and make a well in the center. Place the salt on the edge to prevent it from getting in contact with the fresh yeast mixture in the beginning. Once the yeast is activated, pour it in the well and add the sour cream. Mix well, then slowly start adding the warm milk and water and knead until soft dough is formed. I highly suggest using a stand mixer with a dough hook in which you should knead the dough for about 5 minutes. It really makes a huge difference and I would not suggest you skipping this step.
3. Allow the dough to raise for 1 hour in a covered bowl in a warm place. The dough will raise to double its size. Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Divide each peace into three pieces and roll each one into long strips. Braid them and place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Cover with clean cotton cloths and let raise for additional 30 minutes. In the meantime, heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
4. Once the breads have risen, uncover them and brush them with milk. Place the tray in the heated oven and bake for about 25 minutes, reducing the heat to 180 degrees Celsius for the last 5 or 10 minutes.