- 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp instant yeast or one envelope, which is equivalent to 2 1/4 teaspoons
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs plus 1 egg separated (saving the white for egg wash)
- 1/4 cup 1/2 stick unsalted butter softened
- 1/4 cup boiling water plus 1/4 cup room temperature water
- 1 tsp poppy or sesame seeds optional
First, make the egg wash by whisking one egg white with one tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until you’re ready to brush it on the dough.
In a one-cup liquid measuring cup, melt the butter in the boiling water. Add the room temperature water, two whole eggs, and the extra egg yolk. Whisk to combine and set this mixture aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine 3 cups of flour with the yeast, sugar and salt. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the butter and egg mixture and mix until a dough is formed. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed and knead the dough for five to eight minutes or until the dough is slightly tacky that barely sticks to the sides of the bowl. If needed, add additional flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough reaches the right consistency.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the dough with a dish cloth and leave it to rise until it’s doubled in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Once it’s risen, deflate it by lightly pressing on it. Recover it with the towel and leave it to rise for another hour or until it has doubled again in size.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. At this point, I recommend following the steps in this video to do a six-strand braid, which is how I braided my bread.
Once the dough is braided. Transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the top of the bread lightly with the egg wash you prepared earlier (save the rest, you will need to brush the dough again before baking). Cover the bread with a dish towel and leave it to rise for about 45 minutes or until the dough is puffy and a bit lighter in color.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the bread with another light coating of egg wash. Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes or until the bread is a deep golden brown an the internal temperature is 190°F. Transfer the bread to a baking rack. Allow it to cool completely before slicing.
Recipe source: Bakingdom