This beautiful braided bread filled with homemade jam filling is sure to impress your family and guests.
This bread is not something you can make fast, however—it’ll take up your afternoon, but the results are simply stunning!
If you’re looking for a great addition to your next Sunday brunch or a delicious dessert to top off dinner, continue reading to learn how to make this incredible dish!
A Jam Made For Baking
This bread does not use average store-bought strawberry jam. It is far thicker and richer than the average jam you can find in a store.
That is because the jam needs to spread over the dough like a thick paste and stay in place as much as possible during the baking.
The traditional jams have a bit more water inside; therefore, they have a tendency to leak out, leaving you with dry bread.
How To Make The Strawberry Jam
This jam is made with three simple ingredients: strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice.
You can go a step further and add some fresh thyme just to elevate the flavors, but it’s not mandatory. This jam is simple to make, but here are a few tips to try out when making your own jam!
- Choose a larger pan or a 12-inch skillet. It allows you to cook the jam evenly.
- Watch the jam closely as it cooks. If you are making small batches of jam, like this recipe requires, I suggest that you stay close to your pan. Do not leave the jam unattended. The cooking time for smaller batches is around 10-12 minutes, so keep that in mind.
- Stir constantly. Because you will be making a small batch, things can quickly go from undercooked to burnt jam in as little as 30 seconds. Make sure to stir the jam constantly to avoid any burning.
- Test for doneness. Drag your spatula through the center of the jam. If the space you cleared stays empty for few seconds, your jam is done. If it immediately rushes to close the gap, it needs more time.
Waking Up The Yeast
This bread is made with yeast, and for a proper rise, you need to awaken it. The yeast in its dry form is deactivated and in hibernation. Our job is to wake it up so it can do its job!
No matter what type of yeast you use, as there are many varieties, yeast needs special handling.
You’ll need water. Not hot, not cold, but warm water to activate the yeast. Be cautious when using your water; if the water is too hot, it may kill the organisms in the yeast before they get a chance to do their job.
The ideal temperature is the temperature of the human body, around 97°F. If the liquid is too hot then give it a few seconds to cool down and monitor it with a digital thermometer.
Is Braiding Complicated?
If you can braid your own hair, then you can braid dough, too! It may seem a bit intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, braiding the bread dough is a cakewalk (or breadwalk?).
Make sure to treat the dough gently, but also don’t be afraid to be confident! Trust your skills, and your braided loaf will come out of the oven looking amazing.
Once you get those pieces of dough in your hands, pull and twist them gently while making the overlapping pattern and creating a braid.
By twisting the dough as your braid, it lets more of the jam become visible without any of it leaking out during the baking process.
Do I Need Special Equipment?
If you’ve had the pleasure of working in a professional kitchen like me, you will probably want to knead the dough with your bare hands. There is something very therapeutic and meditative about this process, and I’ve come to truly love it!
But, if you are worried that your dough will not be smooth, or you are just in rush to make this bread, you can use a stand mixer.
They can be a bit bulky, heavy, and pricey, but they really do give amazing results! It’s a piece of equipment you should definitely consider getting for your kitchen.
How To Make Braided Strawberry Jam
Make the bread.
In a mixing bowl, whisk water, yeast, egg, butter, and honey.
Let it sit for 5 minutes.
Add flour and stir until just combined.
Transfer the dough to a flour-dusted kitchen counter and knead until smooth (or knead your dough in a stand mixer).
Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a cloth or plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 2 hours.
Make the jam: slice the strawberries and place them in a saucepot or skillet with sugar and lemon juice. Allow the strawberries to release their juices by leaving them to rest for 10 minutes.
Cook the strawberries over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and cook for 10 minutes or until the jam is thickened.
Allow it to cool down completely.
After letting the dough rise, punch it down a bit and roll out to a rectangle.
Spread the jam through the center and cut the uncovered dough into thin strips (mine were around ½-inch thick).
Twist the fold the strips, left over right, crisscrossing over the filling.
Cover the bread with plastic wrap and let it rise for another hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Make egg wash: whisk the egg yolk with water. Brush the bread with the egg wash.
Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Make the icing: whisk sugar and water until you have a thick paste.
Drizzle the icing over the bread.
Slice, serve, and enjoy! Your braided bread with strawberry jam is complete!
For the dough:
- ¾ cup hot water
- ½ tbsp dry yeast
- 1 large egg
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp honey
For the strawberry jam:
- 10 oz. strawberries, hulled, sliced
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
For the egg wash:
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp water
For the icing:
- ½ cup icing powder
- 1-2 tbsp water
- Make the dough. In a mixing bowl, whisk water, yeast, egg, butter, and honey.
- Let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Add flour and stir until just combined.
- Transfer the dough to a flour-dusted kitchen counter and knead until smooth. Alternatively, you can knead your dough in a stand mixer.
- Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a cloth or plastic wrap. Let it rise for 2 hours.
- Make the jam. Slice the strawberries and place them in a saucepot or skillet, along with sugar and lemon juice. Allow the strawberries to release their juices by leaving them without stirring for 10 minutes.
- Cook the strawberries over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and cook for 10 minutes or until the jam is thickened.
- Let it cool off the heat.
- Assemble your finished jam and bread dough. Punch down the dough and roll out to a long rectangle.
- Spread the jam through the center, cut the uncovered dough into thin strips. Mine were around ½-inch thick.
- Twist the fold the strips, left over right, crisscrossing over the filling.
- Cover the bread with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 more hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Make egg wash. Whisk the egg yolk with water. Brush the bread with the egg wash.
- Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
- Make the icing. Whisk sugar and water until you have a thick paste.
- Drizzle the icing over the bread.
- Once cool, slice and serve!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 221Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 4g