From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I found the recipe for this egg braid on the iFood.tv website, and decided to give it a try because it seemed easier than the one I usually use to make challah. That older recipe can be found here. While their bread it is not as rich as my old stand-by, I think those of you who decide to make this bread will be pleased with its crust, crumb and color. I followed the recipe exactly as it appeared on iFood site, but when it came to shaping I decided to vary slightly from their instructions and use a six-braid technique that I had learned years ago. I love the voluptuous appearance of six-braid loaves and because they are not really difficult to make, I use the technique whenever I can. If you would like to give the technique a try, you can find wonderful instructions for the braid here. This is a really nice bread and I think those of you who try the recipe will be pleased. Here is how the egg braid is made.
Seeded Egg Bread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite adapted from ifood.tv
1/4 cup warm water
2-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs beaten
5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided use
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1) Pour warm water into a small bowl. Stir in yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar until dissolved. Set aside until foamy, about 15 minutes.
2) Heat 1 cup milk in a small saucepan until bubbles form around edge of pan. Cut butter into 4 pieces and add to milk. Stir in 2 tablespoons sugar and salt. Pour milk mixture into a large bowl. Cool to 105 degrees F, or until a few drops on your wrist feel warm.
3) Add yeast mixture, 3 eggs and 2-1/2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Cover with a dry cloth. Set aside 20 minutes.
4) Add remaining 3-1/2 cups, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from side of bowl. Turn out on a lightly floured board. Knead dough, adding flour as necessary, until smooth and elastic.
5) Clean and grease bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease all sides. Cover with a dry cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Punch down dough by pushing your fist into center. Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead 5 times. Divide dough into 6 equal parts.
6) Grease 2 baking sheets. Roll each piece of dough with your hands to form a 12-inch rope. Place 3 ropes, side-by-side lengthwise, on a greased baking sheet. Braid, pinching ends together.
7) In a small bowl, beat egg yolk with 2 tablespoons milk. Brush egg mixture over braids. Sprinkle generously with seeds, pressing seeds gently into braids. Cover with a dry cloth. Let rise until light, about 45 minutes.
8) Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
9) Bake until golden brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped with your fingers, about 30 minutes. Yield 2 loaves.
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