This is not what you'd usually think of when you hear the term "bread basket." This basket made of bread is totally edible. Serve it up as a bowl to hold your salad, to hold small appetizers, or anywhere else this clever bread recipe can be showcased

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Ingredients

Directions

  • In a large bowl stir together 2 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast. In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, butter, and salt just until warm (120°F to 130°F) and butter almost melts; add to flour mixture. Beat with a mixer on low 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

    Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning to grease surface of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (45 to 60 minutes)*.

    Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; divide into quarters. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, invert 4, 10-ounce custard cups or bowls and cover with foil. Coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. In a small bowl whisk together egg and water. Preheat oven to 375°F.

    Roll a dough quarter into a 9-inch square (allow to rest as necessary). Cut into 12 strips, each about 1/2- to 3/4-inch wide. Crisscross 2 of the strips over a prepared bowl. Add 2 more strips, spacing evenly apart. Begin weaving 5 of the remaining strips crosswise among the strips on the bowl, starting from the top. Weave under one strip and over the next, pressing strips into the bowl as you go. Press ends of a strip together once you finish going around the bowl, trimming end if necessary. Press all strips together as you go so there are no open spaces. Trim ends of lengthwise strips even with the bottom of the bowl. Braid the remaining 3 strips together and press around bottom edge of bowl, stretching braid as necessary. Pinch ends together. Place on prepared baking sheet. Brush with egg mixture. Repeat with remaining dough.

    Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown**. Cool on baking sheet on a wire rack. Remove bread from cups.

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Frozen Bread Dough:

Prepare as above, except use 2, 1-pound loaves frozen white bread dough, thawed.

*

Or, chill dough overnight.

**

To bake the inside of the basket, carefully invert the baskets with a wide spatula after baking. Use tongs to remove bowls from baskets. Place custard cups on the baking sheet. Place basket inside the cups. Cover edges with foil. Bake 10 to 15 minutes more until the inside of the basket is light brown.

Nutrition Facts

712 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat), 65 mg cholesterol, 982 mg sodium, 133 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 23 g protein.

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