Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Another Easy but Tasty Bread Recipe

I thought I would share another bread recipe one that is fast and easy (can be on the table in less than two hours) but looks and tastes "difficult". It goes with anything and is great with a creamy soup on a cold winter evening. I mix this in my Kitchen-aid but it is easily done by hand!

Sesame Wheat Braids

2 tablespoons active dry yeast (3 of the 1/4 ounce packages)
2-1/4 cups very warm tap water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons salt
5 cups bread flour
sesame seeds

In your mixer bowl (or any large bowl) place the yeast, sugar, oil and the whole wheat flour; mix well. Let the mixture stand for about 5 minutes, or until it bubbles up.

In a small bowl, mix the eggs and the tablespoon water together. Remove two tablespoons of the mixture and save to use later. Add the remaining egg mixture, along with the salt, to the batter; mix until smooth.

Add 4 cups of the remaining flour--one cup at a time--to the batter, and mix in. Mix in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. I usually mix (knead) for 4-5 minutes.

Remove the dough ball from the bowl and spray the bowl with cooking spray. Put the dough back in the bowl and turn it over once so that the top is greased. Cover bowl loosely with a piece of plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to rise until doubled, which should only take about 20 minutes or so.

Punch the dough down and divide it in half. Spray your counter or cookie sheet with vegetable spray. Divide each half into thirds. Shape each piece into a rope about 15 inches long. Place on cookie sheet. Pinch the three ends together and then braid the ropes. Pinch the other ends together and tuck both ends under. I braid mine on the counter and place in my baguette pan. Brush with the egg and water mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat with second braid.

Let rise until doubled, only about 20 more minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Variations: use up to half whole wheat flour (Bretta, let me know if you try this with all wheat). Use canola or Smart Balance oil. I have also used honey when I was out of sugar!

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