Breads (Yeast) - Loaves

Sesame Braided Bread

September 05, 2021 | Recipe by Bake with Paws

Sesame Braided Bread

Sesame Braided Bread

Sesame Braided Bread

After trying the Sesame Soft Sourdough Braided Bread, I found quite it enjoyable to braid the 4-Strand bread.  So I did a yeast-based version this time.  I used my Soft & Fluffy Soft White Sandwich Bread recipe.  I like this recipe as the yeast smell is not so strong due to the long retard in the fridge. The texture is soft and stays fresh quite well even though it is a straight dough method.  

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.  Do tag me on Instagram @Bakewithpaws if you attempt on this recipe.


Yields: 2 braided breads


500g  bread flour (I used Japan high gluten flour, 12% protein)
1 tsp instant yeast
23g caster or brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
50g white sesame, toasted and blended into paste
230g full cream milk (whole milk)
130g water (Reserve 20g first, add in later if too dry. I used 120g of water)
45g butter, room temperature

Egg Wash (Optional):
1 egg + 1 Tbsp water, whisked

450g Loaf pan with lid (20 X 10 X 10 cm) or (8" X 4" X 4") 

  1. Kneading:
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter) into a bowl of stand mixer.  
    2. Slightly combine the mixture by hand with the hook attachment before turning on the machine so that the flour will not splash out.  
    3. Knead at low speed (#2 for KA) for another 3 minutes or until the dough comes together. Add in butter and continue knead at low speed (#2 for KA)  for about 10 minutes or until the dough come together and elastic.  I increased the speed to #4 at the last one minute.  After 10 minutes kneading the dough still not silky and smooth.  I tried window pane test and the dough torn.  So, I let it rest for 10 minutes and test again.  I managed to stretch without tearing.  But, it is not a very thin membrane. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.   The whole kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and also to prevent the motor from overheating.
  2. 1st Proofing:
    1. Cover the bowl and transfer dough to the fridge to retard overnight for about 8 – 12 hours.  I retarded in the fridge for 12 hours.
    2. You may also do the same day bake - Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 - 60 minutes until double in size.  I usually left the dough in the same mixing bowl and cover with cling film.
  3. Shaping:
    1. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide dough into 8 equal portions (approx. 124g each). Please use a kitchen scale if you want to be exact. 
    2. Form each portion into a ball.  Rest for 10 minutes.
    3. Flatten the dough into a disc. Roll each dough like a swiss roll.  Then roll into into a rope about 12" long.  Both ends are thinner and fatter in the middle.   Repeat the same to the rest of the dough.
    4. Coated 4 dough ropes with sesame seeds:  
      1. I rested another 4 dough ropes in the fridge while working on this as my kitchen was quite warm. 
      2. Place white sesame seed in a tray.  
      3. Brush the a rope dough with plain water and coated with sesame in the tray.  
      4. Repeat the same to the rest of 3 dough.  
    5. Please watch the video "How To Braid 4 Strands Bread".   
    6. Place braided bread in a prepared baking tray. I made marks with a pencil about 1.5 cm away from the original size of the bread.
  4. 2nd Proofing:
    1. Let the bread proof at a warm place until the dough rise double in size or when it reaches the pencil marks.   This one took approximately 30 - 40 minutes at at room temperature of 28C - 29C.  
  5. Baking:
    1. Preheat oven at 200C (top & bottom heat) or 180C (fan-forced) for 10 - 15 minutes.
    2. Brush egg wash on the parts coated with sesame seeds first then only the the remaining, so that the sesame seeds will not all over.
    3. Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
    4. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack.


Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.

For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. 

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.


  1. Can yr pan fit 2 braided breads?

    1. Hi, Thanks for reading this post. May I know which pan are you referring to? You can fit each braided bread in 450g loaf pan. But, your bread will not be very tall.

  2. Does this make one loaf or two?

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this post. I am sorry for the confusion. This recipe yields 2 breads.

      Cheers :)


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