Braided Egg Bread

Recipe from allrecipes.com

Doesn't this bread look gorgeous?  It tasted great as well, but I'm still having problems with yeast.  The texture was a bit more dense than it should have been.  I am determined to figure this out.  That's my cooking resolution this year - make good bread without using the bread maker (as, so far, that's the only time it's turned out right for me.)

Anyway - if you're not yeast challenged like me, I think you'll really like how this bread turns out. :) 

I did make this halfway, and then finish it up on Christmas Day.  Maybe I should've done it all at once and just brought day old bread, and it would've turned out better.

3 1/4 c AP flour
1 T sugar
1 (.25 ou) package active dry yeast
3/4 t salt
3/4 c water
3 T vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 egg
1 t water
1/2 t poppy seeds

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine 1 1/2 c flour, sugar, yeast and salt.

In a small saucepan, heat the water and oil to 120-130 degrees F. Add to dry ingredients along with the eggs. Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, and stir in enough flour to form a soft dough.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 6-8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top, and cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and set 1/3 of the dough aside.  Divide remaining dough in to 3 equal portions.  Roll each portion into a 13" long rope.

Place the 3 ropes onto a greased baking sheet and braid. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under.

Divide reserved dough into 3 equal pieces and roll into 14" long ropes. Braid ropes.

Center the second braid on top of the first. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. (At this point I covered and refrigerated the dough to bake the next day.  You'll need to allow extra time for the dough to warm and rise to double its size, if you decide to do this.)

Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375.

Beat egg and water, brush onto dough.  Sprinkle dough with poppy seeds.

Bake about 25-30 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.


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