Easter is right around the corner. Every once in a while my husbands birthday falls on Easter. This is one of those years! So with two events to celebrate, it makes it even more special to be with family and friends.
I have been making this bread for years. I have also taught many people to make it. The last time I taught someone she asked me to break it down into specifics, so I did.
This bread is a stunner and a lovely center piece on any table. I often make it to take when asked to bring something for the table, I also enjoy giving it as a gift with a good bottle of wine and a compound butter.
I do suggest planning ahead if you want this for an event or gift. There are two rising times required. Every time I make this the rising time is different so it’s hard to put an exact time on how long it will take. I usually make it the day before. I am also an early riser and will get up early the same day and make it.
Bread making is something I adore. Once you master a loaf, you can master any recipe, only the ingredients change. I am happy to answer any questions or help in any way. Just leave me a comment and I will get back to you.
Happy bread baking! A joyous Easter to all!
Til next time,
Assemble all ingredients:
2 Pkg (2T) active dry yeast
1 C Lukewarm water
2 heaping Tbsp Honey
¼ C unsalted butter softenened
4 Eggs at room temp, beaten
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
2 C flour to start……..keep the flour out to add as needed
Lightly grease a large bowl with oil, crisco, or butter
Sheet pan with Silpat on it
Kitchen Aid Mixer with Paddle attachment
1. In the bowl of your mixer add 1 C lukewarm water and 2 pkgs yeast, Stir once and let sit for 5 minutes until it blooms. NO BUBBLES MEANS DEAD YEAST! Stop and start again….if your yeast is dead your bread will not rise.
2. To your yeast mixture add ……….
¼ C softened butter
Beaten eggs …. Remember to reserve enough to brush on your bread before baking
2 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt (always add last, salt will kill yeast, sugar feeds it)
Mix all together until nicely blended.
3. Slowly add flour to the mixture until the dough starts forming a ball and pulls away from the bowl.
4. Flour a cutting board or bread board and turn the dough out onto the board and start kneading. Continue to add flour until the dough is no longer sticky, when you push your finger into the dough the indent should spring back. IT SHOULD FEEL LIKE A BABY’S BEHIND…LOL!
5. When you feel the dough is ready place it into the greased bowl and cover it with Saran. Place it in the Microwave (leaving the door ajar so light is on) or put it in the oven with the light on.
6. Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size.
7. Take the dough from the oven and PUNCH it down. Scrape it out of the bowl and place on your board. (I do not add any more flour at this point but if it is sticky you may have to).
8. Cut the dough with your bench scraper into 3 equal pieces.
9. Roll each piece into a rope and place on your sheet pan lined with your silpat. Cover with a non-fuzzy cotton towel and let it rest for 7 minutes.
10. Braid the dough starting in the middle and braid to the end tucking under the ends. Turn your pan and braid the other side to the end and tuck under the ends.
11. Let the dough rise again in the oven covered with the towel until doubled in size.
12. Remove the dough, Heat the oven to 375.
13. Brush the dough with the leftover egg wash and sprinkle with seeds as desired.
14. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the pan to the other side and bake another 10 minutes. If not brown enough add an additional 5 minutes.
15. WHEN IT IS DONE AND YOU TAP IT…..IT SHOULD SOUND HOLLOW!
Let it cool and enjoy or wrap until ready to use.
This makes great French toast, croutons, stuffing……..I never throw any of it away!
Keep me posted on your future bread making. This can be very addictive!