Braided bread is found in many forms, in many cultures. This one is a simple one, and is perfect for serving at your Imbolc feast. The braid symbolizes Brighid in her aspect as the bride, representative of her fertility and position as a hearth goddess. Serve this tasty braided bread with warm butter for dipping.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- 3 loaves frozen bread dough, thawed (this is in the frozen foods section at the grocery store)
- 1 egg
- Sesame seeds
Allow the bread loaves to defrost at room temperature. Before it begins to rise, cut each loaf in half with a large pizza cutter or a knife. Roll each half out until it's about 18" long, and about an inch thick. You'll end up with six of these long strips.
Take three of the strips, and braid them together, trying not to stretch them out too much. When you've reached the end of the braid, tuck the ends underneath themselves. Repeat the process with the other three strips, making a second braid.
Place the braids either on a baking stone, or on a pan that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.
Beat the egg in a small bowl, and add 2 Tbsp. water. Lightly brush the egg and water mixture over the braids, and then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Let them rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, or until a light golden brown color. Remove from baking sheet, and allow to cool for 15 minutes or more before serving.** Note: if you want to really jazz this up, use different types of bread, such as white and wheat. The end result is visually very appealing, with the different colors braided together.