“Happiness is…the smell of freshly baked bread.”
Credits for this post to Sarah Miller, a dear friend of mine. She is an amazing mom who spends a lot of time investing in the many people around her, and still finds time to bake various impressive breads! Here is one of her recipes. -Ginger
Add 1/2 c. white sugar and 1/2 tsp. salt to 1 c. warm milk, and STIR!
Add 1 T. active dry yeast to milk mixture. Set a timer for 5 minutes and allow to prove.
Add 1/2 c. softened butter, almost melted and 2 eggs. Stir well.
Add 4 1/2 c. flour and start to knead the dough with your hands. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and continue to knead bread for 7 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. The dough should feel sticky, but not stick to your hands. If you add too much flour to the dough while kneading, the bread will become dry.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it. Allow dough to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
To make braids, split the dough into 2 balls, then split each ball into 3 pieces. Roll those 3 pieces out into a snake about 12 in. long. Braid 3 ropes together and tuck/pinch the ends so that the braid does not come undone. Place each braid on a greased baking sheet.
Beat an egg and brush the tops of the loaves with this to give the bread a lovely color! Allow the dough to rise for another 1/2 hour, then bake for 20-25 minutes at 350⁰.
After brushing the loaves with egg wash, you can just let the loaves like that, or you can sprinkle poppy seeds, Everything Bagel seasoning or sesame seeds on top for a pretty topping!
Butter the top of baked loaves when you pull them out of the oven.