I baked a braided loaf tonight. The recipe called for whole wheat flour and sesame seeds but I skipped them. It also called for braiding.I tried but I didn't do the best job. It was a really wet dough so it was a bit hard to work with. The loaf turned out pretty well though. I am still working on getting better height from my loaves. I think I am probably using a larger loaf tin than the recipes that I follow. I use a 9 x 5. Maybe they use an 8 x 4? I have gotten amazing rise in the past though so maybe it's just that my yeast is finicky.
ETA: I think I also overproofed my loaf. I did some reading last night and learned that overproofing can lead to less oven spring.