- 1/4 Cup Warm Water (110-120°F)
- 1 tsp Dried Yeast (1/2 pkt)
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 3 Large Organic Eggs, room temperature
- 2 – 2 1/4 Cups Unbleached Flour (I use Bob Mills)
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Stick Organic Butter, room temperature
- 1 Egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water (for egg wash)
- Sesame Seeds (optional)
- Combine the water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with either the paddle or dough hook. Stir with a spoon and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat on medium for 1 minute.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add half the flour and salt. Mix until combined, approximately 2 minutes.
- Increase speed to medium and add softened butter one tablespoon at a time. Do not rush this step. This can take several minutes until all the butter is incorporated. The mixture will be very sticky. Add the remaining flour. Continue to mix for another 3 minutes until dough is shiny and smooth and starts to ‘slap’ around the mixer.
- Scrape the dough into a large bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray or lightly oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day allow the dough to come to room temperature (approx. 1 hour). Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately a minute or two until it is pliable.
- Divide the dough into 3 sections and roll into a long rope about 10-12″ long. Pinch all 3 ends together and braid, pinching the bottom as well.
- Place the bread into a loaf pan that has either been sprayed with cooking spray, lightly oiled or lined with parchment paper.
- Cover the pan with a clean towel, place in a warm place and set aside for 2 – 2 1/2 hours to rise.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Gently brush the egg wash over the dough and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cover with a piece of loosely tented foil and bake for another 20 minutes.
- The crust should be a rich reddish-golden brown. Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool.