Place all the ingredients marked ☆ into your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Set on dough cycle and let it do its job until the first rising.
When step 1 is done, divide the dough into 6, roll them into balls, cover them with damp cloth and let them rest for 10 minutes.
Roll out the step 2 into 20 cm long oval shapes, and fold both ends in.
Fold it one more time lengthwise and tightly close the seam.
Roll the dough in one direction, creating 30 cm long rope shapes. Make the middle part fatter and the end parts skinnier.
Start braiding from the center of the dough.
Once half of the dough is braided, pinch the end closed.
Flip the dough and restart braiding the same way. Close the end the same way as well.
It will look something like this. Make two braids.
I shaped one of the braids into a crescent. Spray a small amount of water onto the dough and inside the oven, and allow the dough to rise again in a 40℃ oven for about 30 minutes.
When the dough size has risen about 1.5-2 times its original size, glaze the dough with the remaining egg, sprinkle granulated sugar and press cranberries and almond slices lightly onto the top.
Bake 15-17 minutes in a 180℃ oven.
Let them cool on a wire rack.
They're so cute and make a great gift. They're so fluffy, chewy and delicious.
Story Behind this Recipe
I saw this cute bread at a bakery, and I wanted to make one myself. After trial and error, I came up with this recipe.
For cute braids, roll out the dough so that the center is fatter and the ends are skinnier. It is rather easier since you make it just like a regular braid. Make sure to soften the cranberries or raisins by soaking them in warm water then wipe them dry. Adjust the oven temperature as necessary for your oven.