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Oma's Bavarian Twist

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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


  1. Measure 4 cups of the flour into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Stir together melted butter, warm milk, sugar, and salt
  3. Add above liquids to flour and mix well on low speed with an electric mixer.
  4. Add extracts and eggs and blend well.
  5. Dissolve yeast in warm water and add to the mixture.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Mix egg yolk with a tablespoon of water and gently brush over the loaves.
  9. Bake each loaf for 30 minutes or until hollow sounding and browned. Cool loaves on a wire rack.

Recipe Tags

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