My Braided Sweetheart Bread

Skip the chocolates this year and give your loved one a braided heart bread instead. The intricate pattern, lovely hue, and soft texture are bound to tug some heartstrings of anyone who eats it.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour + 1 hour rising time
  • Cook Time: 25-35 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Author:
  • Joyce Mrad



  • 4 cups white bread flour
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp cane sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 90 ml olive oil
  • 240 ml warm water
  • 20 g beetroot powder mixed in 20g water*


  1. Place the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the yeast to one side and the sugar and salt to the other. Mix to combine.
  2. Add the oil, beetroot mixture, and most of the water and stir to form rough dough, adding the rest of the water as needed to bring it together.
  3. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes in a stand mixer.
  4. The dough should be slightly tacky to the touch but not sticky. If it is too sticky then knead in more flour, a spoonful at a time until it reaches the desired texture.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  6. Once the dough has risen, punch it down to let air bubbles out.
  7. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Roll each piece into a ball and cover the balls with a kitchen towel. Working with one piece at a time, roll each ball into a rope.  Repeat the process 2 times. Place the 3 ropes side by side on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pinch the ends together.  Braid the dough all the way through and seal the end by pinch them together and tuck underneath. Place the braided dough on a baking sheet and bend it into a moon shape. Repeat the remaining 3 strands to make the second braided dough.
  8. Place it on the baking sheet together with the first dough and pinch both edges together to make it into a heart shape as per the image.**
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm place for another hour or almost doubled in size. Preheat your oven at 180°C. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.


*You can skip the beetroot powder if you don’t want colored bread, or even use black carrots or turmeric powder for other colors.

**If you braid the bread directly on the baking sheet, you won’t have to move it around as much and risk stretching or ruining your braid.


Keywords: Bread, homemade bread, Challah bread, Beetroot bread, Heart Shaped Sourdough Challah, heart bread, braided heart bread, vegan bread, healthy bread, vegan braided bread