Monday, February 24, 2014

Viennese Striezel - A Braided Loaf

This weekend I'm participating in another catch-up bake session for the BBB past recipes.  I had to do this one, it was so gorgeous!  The last couple I didn't do because I had made them the first time around.  Somehow missed this one the first time and so was very happy to have another chance.  I am scarfing down buttered pieces of striezel right now and can't wait to toast it, french toast it, and possibly bread pudding it.  Good stuff.  Yum.  I am tempted to make another and use cardamom instead of mace.  I think that would make it more of a fruited Finnish Pulla than a Viennese Striezel, but delicious nonetheless. 

Here is the recipe if you wish to try it out or save it for holidays or a get together... weekend brunch...

Viennese Striezel
1 braided loaf

Basic Sweet Dough

1 package active dry yeast (2¼ tsp - I used instant yeast)
¼ cup very warm water
½ cup milk
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 3/4 – 3 cups flour (I used 100 g whole spelt and about 320 g white spelt)
1 large egg

Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Scald milk. Put milk, sugar, butter, and salt in bowl of mixer. Cool until just warm. Stir in 1 cup of flour. Mix in dissolved yeast.  Whisk egg and add to dough.  Add most of remaining flour and knead until smooth and satiny.  You can knead by hand or use a stand mixer or bread machine to work the dough.  Mix in fruit before the final bit of flour.

¼ cup seedless raisins
¼ cup candied cherries, chopped (I used dried cranberries)
2 tbsp candied orange peel, chopped (I used fresh orange zest)
1/8 tsp mace

½ cup confectioner's sugar
1 tbsp milk
almonds or walnuts for sprinkling

Add fruit and mace to basic dough before the last cup of flour. Mix in well. Add remaining flour and finish kneading until smooth.  Shape into a ball, place in lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 2¼ hours.

Punch down. Divide into 9 pieces, shape each into a ball and let rest 5 minutes.  (I used a scale to divide mine equally.)

To shape the bread, you will make a 4 strand braid, a 3 strand braid and a 2 strand coiled rope.  Cover the balls you are not using for braiding.  For directions on how to braid a 4 strand loaf, look here or just google and choose your favorite way. There are a number of different methods.

Lay the 4 strand braid on a parchment lined sheet and use the side of your hand to press a trench along the length of it.  Then braid the 3 strand and lay it along the trench.  You can make another slight trench in this braid as well.  Then place the final 2 strand rope on the very top.

Cover the loaf loosely and let proof until doubled, about 1½ hours.

Bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 40 – 45 minutes.

Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Combine the powdered sugar and milk until smooth and drizzle over the cooled loaf.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds.


  1. Thank you so much Kelly for baking along with the group "Back to the Future, Buddies"... The BBBs recipes are just too good to be "forgotten".
    And I am so glad you loved it. I still have some candied fruit in the fridge and I plan to bake it again...and again...and again.
    It freezes very well.
    Enjoy it in all the way you've described - there's plenty of it... Look at that magnificent braid. Well done!

  2. I don't know if I could pull this one off, but it's absolutely gorgeous!

  3. Your loaf is looking perfect Kelly! All braids nicely in place (no sliding off 'top rope'). I wish I could have a slice right now with my coffee.


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