Our daughter won a blue ribbon at the state fair when she submitted this delicious bread. People always comment on the crisp crust and tender inside.
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1-1/2 cups warm milk (110° to 115°)
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 7 to 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, shortening, sugar, salt, 3 eggs and 4 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 in half. Divide each portion into thirds. Shape each piece into a 12-in. rope. Place three ropes on a greased baking pan; braid. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Beat remaining egg and cold water; brush over braids. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 loaves.
Originally published as Golden Sesame Braid in Best of Country Breads 2000, p37
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