Makes: 32 servings (two loaves)
Preparation time: 25 min plus rising
Baking time: 30 min
- 2 packages (7g each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (approx 45 degrees)
- 1-1/2 cups warm whole milk (approx 45 degrees)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 large free range eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 7 to 7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons water
- Sesame seeds
- Dissolve yeast in water. Add milk, sugar, salt, eggs, butter and 3-1/2 cups flour; mix well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- On a floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
- Punch down. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes. Divide into six portions. On a floured surface, shape each into a 14-in.-long rope. For each loaf, braid three ropes together on greased baking sheet; pinch ends to seal. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 50 minutes.
- Beat egg yolk and water; brush over loaves. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes.