Zoe did a great post last month on a traditional braided loaf (made with peasant dough). I thought now might be a nice time to do a new video (it’s way at the bottom of this post), showing one of my favorite techniques, the flatbread braid. Flat or traditional tall, these techniques also work great with challah or brioche dough (but you need to bake those lower temp (350F) because of the egg and sweetener in the challah or brioche). As in the photo, you can turn around a straight braid to make a very festive ring, and I topped it with egg wash and poppy seeds. This dough is about 50/50 whole wheat and white flour, which is a wheatier version of the Light Whole Wheat (you don’t have to use the “old” dough). The 50/50 recipe appears in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.
Lately, I’ve been using the stand mixer more and more. We’ve been testing for a new book, so hand-mixing every day has become less exciting (though as we always say, a simple bucket and dough whisk or even just a wooden spoon work just fine). I used Red Star Platinum yeast in the dough recipe for the Light Whole Wheat, which you can see by by clicking here (the full version, including the 50/50 variation, appears on page 131 of the new book).
You can start with the liquids or start with the solids. Unless you’re using vital wheat gluten (this recipe doesn’t have it), it doesn’t matter:
Scrape down with a rubber or plastic spatula if the dough starts “climbing” the paddle.
Use the paddle, also known as the “flat beater” rather than the dough hook (bottom), for our wet doughs. In most mixers we’ve tested with, the dough hook doesn’t do a good job for this kind of dough.
Cover with something non-airtight, and store in the fridge for up to two weeks. Cut off chunks to shape the flatbread circle-braid–click on this video to see how: