This is part of my fiction cooking series. 😉 The recipe comes courtesy of Food to Die For.
You don’t have to braid it of course but it sure does look pretty! I divided the dough in half and braided half for dinner and cooked the other half in a loaf pan so we could have some regular sliced bread at breakfast.
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 5 Tbs olive oil divided
- 2 Tbs honey
- 5-6 cups flour bread flour works better but I often just use regular flour and a bit of extra yeast
- 5 tsp rapid rise yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- n a small saucepan, mix the milk, water, 3 Tbs of oil, and honey. Stir until warm, about 130 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, mix half the flour, salt, and yeast. Add the warm milk mixture and stir, then add the rest of the flour up to the last cup. Add the last cup slowly as you're kneading and see when it stops being incorporated. Knead about 10 minutes by hand or 4-5 minutes in the mixer. I like to knead my bread in my Kitchen Aid mixer these days. You can also do it by hand of course.
- Pour a bit of olive oil in a large bowl and rub around. Put the dough in and turn the ball of dough until coated with oil. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour in a warm space. If your house is cold, turn the oven on a minute or so to warm up, and place the bowl in there. (Don't forget to turn the oven off!)
- When the dough has doubled, punch it down, knead a few times, then let it sit for ten minutes to relax.
- Take half the dough onto a floured cutting board or counter and divide into thirds. Stretch each third into 14" ropes. (Or place each half into a loaf pan after roughly shaping into a loaf.)
- Place the ropes onto a greased baking sheet. Starting from the middle, braid the ropes and pinch the ends together. Then turn the pan around and braid the other half and pinch those ends together. Brush with the beaten egg and then the last bit of oil. Cover and let rise another half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Bake braided loaves 20-25 minutes. (Loaf pans another 10 minutes or so.)
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