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Three Flour Braided Bread
This bread has a longer prep time but the finished loaves will wow your friends and family.
30 to 35 minutes
3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 (4-1/2 tsp.) envelopes Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
1 tablespoon salt
2-1/4 cups water
1/4 cup butter OR margarine
1/4 cup molasses
1 to 1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon caraway seed
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 to 1-1/4 cups rye flour
Combine 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Heat water and butter until very warm (120° to 130°F). Gradually add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1 cup all-purpose flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Portion equal amounts of batter (about 1-1/4 cups) into 3 bowls.
Add 2 tablespoons molasses and enough whole wheat flour to 1/3 of batter to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; set aside.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons molasses, caraway seed, cocoa, and enough rye flour to 1/3 of batter to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; set aside.
Add enough remaining all-purpose flour to remaining 1/3 batter to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover.
Divide each of 3 doughs into 2 equal pieces; roll each piece to 15-inch rope. Braid together a whole wheat, rye, and white rope; pinch ends to seal. Place on greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough ropes. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until done. Remove from baking sheet; cool on wire racks.