Daphna Rabinovitch2005-09-18 16:14:42
Makes one loaf
I originally developed this recipe for Canadian Living Magazine, where it has appeared in many of their cookbooks. I tend to make the dough on Thursday night, knead it for 10 minutes, and then let it make its first rise overnight in the fridge. It's a great time saver. If you choose to do this, just remember to allow enough time the next morning - at least 1 hour - for the dough to come to room temperature before continuing.
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 pkg active dry yeast (or 1 tbsp)
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (approx.)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 egg yolks
1/4 butter, melted, or vegetable oil
1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)
1. In a small bowl or wet measure, dissolve sugar in water. Sprinkle in yeast; let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy.
2. In separate large bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour with salt. With wooden spoon, stir into yeast mixture, honey, eggs, egg yolks, and butter. Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic, sprinkling with more flour to prevent sticking.
3. Place dough in large greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down dough; knead in raisins, if using. Let rest for 5 minutes.
4. To braid: Divide dough into 4 even sized pieces; roll each into an 18-inch long rope. Place side by side and pinch one end together. At pinched end, move second rope from left over rope on right. Move far right rope over 2 ropes on left. Move far left rope over two ropes on right. Repeat until braid is complete; tuck ends under braid. Transfer to parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
5. Stir egg yolk with 1 tsp water; brush over loaf. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake in centre of preheated 350? F oven for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown and bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool on rack.