Woven Bread Basket. These tasty woven bread baskets are so fun and easy to make. You can have your bread and eat it too with this recipe. These freshly baked edible baskets are so versatile and make a wonderful addition to your Easter table spread. Use these edible baskets to hold flowers, bread rolls, fresh fruit, or eggs. These baskets are also great to serve year-round and resemble popular cornucopia displays made in Autumn.
The dough needed for this recipe is different from traditional bread dough since it requires less yeast. There are also no eggs or butter required for this dough recipe. This results in a stiffer dough which is much easier to work with during the weaving process. I used the straight dough method for this recipe. This popular method is a bit more straightforward and less time-consuming than other recipes. Mix all of your dry and liquid ingredients in a bowl or stand mixer. Then, knead the dough by hand and allow proof. Repeat this process and test until you have your desired effect.
Forming The Woven Bread Basket
Cut your dough into five even sections and roll until flat. Thinner slices of dough work better to create the shape. If the dough or any individual pieces are too heavy, the basket may collapse on to itself. I used an upside-down stainless steel bowl wrapped in tin foil to form the woven basket shape. Smaller bowls are recommended for this recipe because they are easier to work with. Larger bread baskets tend to lose their shape rather quickly while baking. Spray cooking oil on the layer of tin foil to prevent the dough from sticking.
Once your bowl is prepped, carefully place and crisscross the slices of dough over one another to form the basket base. Then weave your remaining dough to resemble that of a woven basket. Trim and fold over any edges or pieces that are out of place. Allow your dough time to proof and coat with an egg-wash, which causes the bread to have a nice golden-brown color. Use a cooking brush to try to get every crevice to create an even tone. If you are feeling adventurous, sprinkle some sesame seeds for added nutrients and flavor. Allow this to rise. When it rises, brush with an egg wash for that beautiful golden color.
Baking The Woven Bread Basket
Place your bread dough in the oven to bake. The bread is ready when it is deep golden brown. The bread should also be cooked evenly throughout to ensure it will hold its shape. When done, gently remove the bowl and tin foil. The bread is ready when it is deep golden brown. I usually allow my bread to rest for a while before placing anything inside to display. If something heavy is placed on the bread freshly out of the oven, it may lose its basket form.
Woven Bread Basket
- Medium-size stainless steel bowl (mine held about 2 quarts. It was on the smaller side of medium) and stand mixer
- 1 1/4 cup water lukewarm
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/4-3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg egg wash, not for dough
- 1 tablespoon milk egg wash, not for dough
- I like to mix my dough in a stand mixer, but you can always knead by hand as well. Start by activating the yeast, you do this by combining the yeast and water. Mix gently and let them sit for about 3-5 minutes. It won't take long. Add in remaining ingredients, but only use 2 cups of the flour.Mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Check for flour. You want it to be a SLIGHTLY stiff dough. Not really stiff, but just slightly. If you need to add another 1/2 cup into the dough, mix another minute or maybe 2. Check again. Once is right, turn the mixer on medium and mix for about 5-6 minutes. Cover and allow to rise for about 30 minutes. Wrap the backside of your bowl with tinfoil and spray with pan spray. Cut off 1/3 of your dough. Divide this into 5 pieces. Roll them into 10inch long snakes. Then roll each snake out with a rolling pin to flatten slightly. You will want everything to be fairly thin as it will triple in size by the time it is risen and baked. Lay each of these across the top of the bowl. These will be the supports you weave around. I hope the video is better at explaining than I am.Take the remaining dough, and divide into 6 pieces. Roll these into snakes as well. Then just as with the others, flatten slightly by rolling with the rolling pin. Starting at the top of the bowl, start weaving with the flattened pieces you just rolled out. Pinch the pieces together when they end, or simply start and stop under a supporting piece of dough. When you are finished, clip all the ends. Then cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Towards the end of the baking time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the egg and 1 tablespoon of milk in a small bowl for egg wash.Brush generously over the basket, this will give it the golden brown color. Make sure and brush in the nooks and crannies too. Place in oven. Bake for 20-35 minutes. You want it to be a deep golden brown. If your basket was thicker than mine, you will need to bake a little longer. You want it to be able to hold its shape. Once it is baked, remove it from the oven. Allow it the cool for about 5 minutes, then GENTLY remove from the bowl peel out the tinfoil. Allow it to cool completely before filling. You can fill with rolls, fruits, flowers, or eggs like I did. The possibilities are endless. Just make sure whatever you put it in is light. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!