Braiding doesn’t just have to be for sweets. I found myself with some 2-week-old dough (truth be told it was closer to 3 weeks) and it was a little wet to shape a nice tall boule. We always recommend using older dough for flatbreads or baking it in a loaf pan, since it can lose some of its rising power in the later stages of storing. Well, it turns out this older dough makes a wonderful braided peasant bread loaf, with lots of flavor and a really open crumb. Because the braid isn’t as domed as a boule, the older dough has all the rising power it needs.
My dough was made with all-purpose flour, a bit of rye, whole wheat and Platinum yeast by Red Star. Like I said, it was almost 3 weeks old, but this technique can also be done with fresh dough and really any of our doughs, not just the Peasant dough recipe will work great. (more…)