This is another recipe that I copied down from “The Frugal Gourmet” cooking show from the early 1980’s. My recipe is stained and well used and loved.
- 1 1/4 tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
- 3/4 cup Warm Water
- 1 tablespoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 White Flour, unbleached
- 1 Egg Yolk mixed with 1/3 teaspoon Water
Dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, stirring the flour in one cup at a time. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes on a floured surface. Add more flour as needed, until dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough ball in an oiled bowl and place in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size, about an hour.
Dough should feel alive and bouncy. Punch the dough down. If it is too moist to handle add a bit more flour. Divide the dough in half. Take one portion and divide that into 3 equal parts. Roll the 3 parts into 10 inch long “ropes”. Braid the 3 ropes together and pinch together lightly at both ends. Take the other one half portion and divide that into a larger portion and a smaller portion. From both of these 2 portions, make 2 braids like you did for the first half.
When you have 3 different size braids, stack them on top of each other with the largest braid on the bottom. Place the braided loaf on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Pinch braids together in several spots to keep the loaf together. Cover, place in a warm spot and let rise until it is doubled, about an hour.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Brush the loaf with the glaze. Bake in 375 F oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The loaf should be crusty and sound hollow when knocked on. Cool on a rack.