If your family will only eat white bread this is the best thing for them. It is moist, tender and has an incredible taste and it's much better for them. This is a staple in my home.
This bread freezes wonderfully for future use if you can keep it in the house that long. I can't if I make one or two loaves. I usually spend a day making this and do 6 or 8 loaves in a day. I cut them in half, individually wrap them, label them with the day and type of bread and then put them in the freezer. I actually have a picture of this bread when made at the bottom of this page. You do not have to braid it but I do for company as it looks even better. For the most part I bake it like a regular loaf of bread.
This makes 2 huge (and I mean huge) loaves. Do not be afraid to divide it in 3 or 4 for regular loaf pans.
1/2 cup of warm water (110-115 degrees)
PROOF: In a two cup measure, pour 1/2 cup of warm
water (watch the temperature of it), add 1 teaspoon of sugar, but don't stir. Slowly sprinkle 2 tablespoons of yeast into the water, making sure it all gets wet. Again, don't stir. Wait 10 minutes until it is thick and foamy.
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons of dry yeast
2 cups of warm water
2 teaspoons of salt
1/4 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons of oil
3 eggs 7 1/2 cups of flour (may need a bit more)
cornmeal (to sprinkle on baking sheet)
1/2 cup of warm water (110-115 degrees)
PROOF: In a two cup measure, pour 1/2 cup of warm water (watch the temperature of it), add 1 teaspoon of sugar, but don't stir. Slowly sprinkle 2 tablespoons of yeast into the water, making sure it all gets wet. Again, don't stir. Wait 10 minutes until it is thick and foamy.
PREHEAT OVEN: to 400 degrees
WHILE WAITING: While waiting for the yeast to proof combine the following ingredients in a big bread bowl. Stirring well BETWEEN each addition: 2 cups of warm water, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/4 cup of sugar & then 3 eggs. Once again, it is important to stir between each ingredient added.
Then stir in the yeast and add 2 cups of the flour. Add 3 tablespoons oil. stir again! lol
ADD FLOUR QUICKLY: This dough should be rather stiff so the braids will retain their shape. Add the remaining flour 2 cups at a time and stir to make a stiff dough, and if needed don't be afraid to add a bit more flour. Coat the dough lightly with flour & turn it out onto a floured kneading surface.
KNEAD: Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. About 10 minutes. Lightly dust the kneading surface if the dough becomes too sticky to handle. If you have a 'kitchen aide' put the kneading forks in and knead for 6 or 7 minutes.
1st RISING: Put dough into buttered bowl, turn to grease top and rise until double - about 1 - 1 1/2 hrs. Cover with a tea towel and put in a warm place.
SHAPE: When dough has doubled, punch it down. Pull it away from the sides of the bowl and turn it out onto the kneading surface. Knead it briefly to break all the big air bubbles. Cut dough in half and set aside to rest.
TRICKY PART! LOL BRAIDING INSTRUCTIONS: Cut 1/3 of the dough off of one of the pieces and set aside. Cut the remaining 2/3 into 3.
Roll each piece into a rope 18" long. Braid the ropes and place them on a greased and cornmeal sprinkled baking sheet.
Cut the remaining 1/3 dough into 3 small pieces. Roll each out into a 16" rope. Braid these ropes and place them securely on top of the braid already on the baking sheet.
Do the same with the second half of this dough. Place it on the baking sheet like the last one but be sure to leave space between them. They puff out as well as up.
2ND RISING: cover the now braided loaves with a tea towel again, put in a warm place and allow to rise until double. About 30 mins or so.
EGG WASH: When second rising is done, put an egg wash on them. Egg wash is 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of milk, beat well.
BAKE: 400 degree's F for 30 minutes. After about 15 minutes cover with foil if browning too much. Keep a close eye on this. I usually do anyway or it tends to get too brown if you don't keep a constant watch on it. COOL: cool on a wire rack. Resist all urges to cut right away or you'll burn your fingers and tongue!hahaha
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