This recipe comes from my dear friend Noah Wright. All I can tell you is I feel like a leaf in the wind when I bake. If you have never made your own bread I suggest you give a try. Enjoy
- 1 Cup warm water
- 2 packages of Yeast
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 5 1/4 – 5 3/4 cups of flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon water
- Poppy seeds (optional)
Place 1/2 cup warm water in large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved, and active. Add remaining water, sugar, butter, salt and 1 1/2 cups flour; blend well. Stir in 3 eggs, 1 egg white (reserve 1 yolk), and enough remaining flour to make soft dough.
Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6 - 8 minutes. place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.
Cover, let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes. It took me a good hour to get my dough to rise. My apartment is so cold, and I think that is what did me in. After a half hour I decided to heat two cups of water in the microwave. I then removed the water and put my dough in the microwave to sit in the nice warm air... do not heat your dough. I did this as a way to keep the air around it warm.
Punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface; divide in half. Set aside 1 half. Divide remaining half into 2 pieces, one about 2/3 of the dough and the other about 1/3 of the dough. Divide larger piece into 3 equal pieces; roll to 12 inch ropes. Place ropes on greased baking sheet; braid. Pinch ends to seal. Divide remaining piece into 3 equal pieces.
Roll to 10 inch ropes; braid. Place small braid on large braid. Pinch ends firmly to seal and secure to large braid. Repeat with remaining dough to make second loaf. Cover; let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in size; about 30-45 minutes.
Beat reserved egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water; brush over loaves. Sprinkle with poppy seed, if desired.
Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until done, switching positions of sheets in oven halfway through baking time. Remove from sheets; let cool on wire rack.
Makes 2 loaves