Virtually fail-proof recipe designed for ease of preparation and maximum flavor. NOT sweet, but may be sweetened by using 1/2 cup sugar instead of 1/4 cup.
Place sugar, salt, and oil in either a mixing bowl for an electric mixer with a dough hook or any large bowl. Add hot water, and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Stir in yeast, and let stand until mixture gets foamy. Add slightly beaten eggs.
If using an electric mixer, add 4 1/2 cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Mix until flour is mixed in, and dough gets stringy. This stringiness indicates that the gluten has developed. Continue to add flour until dough is all on dough hook; 1 or 2 cups is usually sufficient. Let hook continue to knead for several minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic. To knead by hand, stir 4 1/2 cups of flour in to the yeast mixture. Turn soft dough onto lightly floured surface, and work in 1 to 2 cups of flour. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Place dough into a greased bowl, and turn several times to coat the surface. Cover bowl with a damp cloth. Let dough rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down after first rising, and allow to rise a second time. The first rising is about 1 hour, the second about 45 minutes. Two risings makes for a better bread, but if time is a problem just do one.
Divide dough in half, and divide each half into three or four equal parts. Make two braids, and place both breads on a greased baking sheet. Cover, and allow to rise until doubled. Brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with poppy seeds, if desired.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes until golden brown. Allow loaves to cool on a wire rack.
Per Serving: 158 calories; protein 4.6g; carbohydrates 26.3g; fat 3.6g; cholesterol 31mg; sodium 303.3mg.
The best flavour of the flour could make a real difference to your bread. Different brands do vary. Great taste or Canadian flours, which are naturally higher in gluten, may give you a best rise than standard bread flours – especially if you’re make wholemeal dough , which doesn’t always getting bigger as well as white bread.
To make this in a breadmaker , add all the menus to your breadmaker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
A dough’s first rising can be done in the fridge 24 hours . This slows down the time it takes to rise to double its size, giving it a deeper flavour. It’s also a great limit , as you can start it night before , then finish it off the next day.