Bread has long been called the staff of life, so why not make it a thing of beauty as well! My German grandmother taught me how to make this sweet braided bread without a written recipe and with no standard measurements. I transcribed each handful of flour and splash of milk into standard measurements. I have been making her Bavarian Twist for more than forty years.
Oma's Bavarian Twist
- Servings: 20-30
- Yield: 3 large loaves
- Prep Time: 2 hr 30 min
- Cooking Time: 30 min
- 8-9 cups of all purpose flour, divided
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 2 cups milk, warmed to about 100 degrees
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 2 eggs
- 2 packages yeast
- ½ cup warm water, about 100 degrees
- 1 egg yolk
- Measure 4 cups of the flour into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Stir together melted butter, warm milk, sugar, and salt
- Add above liquids to flour and mix well on low speed with an electric mixer.
- Add extracts and eggs and blend well.
- Dissolve yeast in warm water and add to the mixture.
- Using a dough hook, add remaining flour one cup at a time until the mixture comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead with the dough hook until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
- Place dough into a large greased bowl and turn over. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise until doubled, about an hour. Punch dough down and divide into three balls. Divide each ball into three pieces, and roll each piece into a 16" strip. Braid three strips to form each loaf. Tuck under the ends. Place each loaf onto a parchment-lined sheet and allow to rise until almost doubled, about an hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix egg yolk with a tablespoon of water and gently brush over the loaves.
- Bake each loaf for 30 minutes or until hollow sounding and browned. Cool loaves on a wire rack.