Braided Condensed Milk Bread

Once more, I go deep in my culinary memories to bring you another recipe of my life. This is a condensed milk bread that my grandmother used to make, a thousand of years ago. I remember that, at some point, she owned a café, where my cousin and I used to play the waitresses. Of course she let us play without limits and, usually, our payment was done with… this bread!

So, my mom took the recipe, as my grandma house was far from ours and we only visited her for vacations. And, for many years, I saw my mom making these delicate breads…

You will see they are not super sweet, even with condensed milk and sugar. That’s why I like eating them with butter or cream cheese, which gives a sweet-savory contrast that I love.

The original ones don’t have sugar on top, but I like to pour some, as it makes them even more beautiful and brings an interesting crunch. Another adaptation I made was about the format. My grandma used to make them round and individual. I like them as big fat braids, to share.

Whatever it is with or without sugar, round or braided, this bread is super soft and delicious! Perfect for tea time or to show some love, as my grandma and my mom did to me for so many years…

Pan leche condensada

Condensed Milk Braided Bread

4 big braids

Bread

1 can of sweet condensed milk

Same measure of milk (use the can as measure)

1/2 measure of canola oil (use the can as measure)

4 eggs

1 pinch of salt

2 lb bread flour

0.5 oz active dry yeast

1 egg yolk

Glaze

1 cup of milk

4 tbsp sugar

Sugar for garnish

Mix the flour and the yeast and set aside. In a blender, put the condensed milk, milk, eggs and salt and blend it, until having a homogeneous mix.

In a clean surface, put the flour, open a hole in the middle and pour the blender liquid, mixing with your fingers. Start to work with the dough, until achieving an elastic consistency, that won’t stick in your hands. Be patient. You will have to work this dough for several minutes. If after 15-20 minutes your dough is still sticky, add flour, 1 tbsp at a time, up to 5 tbsp. When not sticking anymore, put the dough in a clean recipient. Cover it with a clean cloth and allow rising for about 20 minutes or until achieving twice the initial size.

Preheat the oven at 375 degrees. Take the dough and press it carefully, to release the air. Take 3 pieces (tennis ball size, each) and form 3 thin rolls (about 20-inch). Put together one extremity of each roll and start braiding, carefully. Do it with all the dough. Put in a pan (no need to grease it) and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Brush it with egg yolk and bake it for about 20 minutes or until browned.

Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a small pan, put milk and sugar. Bring to a boil in medium heat, mixing, until reduced in half.

Take the bread from the oven and, immediately, brush the glaze. Once cold, pour sugar on top of it.

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