Braided bread was a staple of my childhood. It’s simple to make, but looks festive enough that it can be served on special occasions. Slightly sweetened, it was delicious in its own right, especially fresh out of the oven. The next day it was good with a bit of butter and currant jam. If it survived any longer, which was rare, it would make the most excellent bread pudding.
The dough is similar to a brioche, though not quite as rich, incorporating sugar, eggs, and butter. It lends itself to many variations: sprinkled with slivered almonds, incorporating candied fruit, or filled with almond paste.
We used to make a straight-forward 3-strand braid. Today I got a little more ambitious and tackled a 4-strand pattern. My bread bible provides easy to follow step by step instructions for up to 7-strand braids. I might need to practice with some string before I attempt that one.