Braided Egg Bread


Again being inspired by so many awesome foodie blogs I decided it was time I learned how to make homemade bread. We are a bread loving family. My husband was running to the store and I told him to get flour for some cookies I was going to bake (Lemon Spiral), on a whim I told him to grab some yeast. I thought that at least if I have it in the house I would be able to make it when inspiration struck. He brought home Fleishmanns Rapid Rise yeast. I went straight to the internet to find some recipes that specifically called for it. All of those called for cream, which is something I am finding out most chef and bakers always have on hand. I on the other do not keep cream on hand. So off the allrecipes.com to find the perfect loaf. I searched Bread, Non-Machine, Loaf, Top 20. A recipe came up that looked and sounded delicious… and it was!
Ingredients:

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 package Fleishmanns Rapid Rise dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 eggs + 1 egg yolks
TOPPING:
1 egg
1 teaspoon water
Directions:
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a saucepan, heat water and oil to 120 degrees F-130 degrees F. Add to dry ingredients along with eggs. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place rest about 10 minutes.
3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Set a third of the dough aside. Divide remaining dough into three pieces. Shape each into a 13-in. rope. Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Divide reserved dough into three equal pieces; shape each into a 14-in. rope. Braid ropes. Center 14-in. braid on top of the shorter braid. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
4. Beat egg and water; brush over dough. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cover with foil during the last 15 minutes of baking. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.

This recipe was adapted from Marlene Jeffreys recipe on Allrecipes.com

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