Our daughter, Christy, loves baking this pretty braided bread with a hint of ginger. She has entered it in various 4-H competitions and enjoys teaching others how to make it.
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 eggs
- 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter, sugar, salt, ginger, eggs and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into six pieces. Shape each into a 12-in. rope. Braid three ropes; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Place in two greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Beat remaining egg; brush over dough. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).
Originally published as Country Bread in Best of Country Breads 2000, p38
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