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- 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, divided
- 1 egg, beaten
- Additional dried marjoram, thyme, and rosemary, optional
- In a bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, salt, marjoram, thyme and rosemary. In a saucepan over low heat, heat milk, water and 1/4 cup butter to 120°-130°. Pour over the dry ingredients. Add egg and blend well. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and 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 30 minutes. Punch dough down. Divide into three equal portions. Shape each into a 28-in. rope. Braid ropes; pinch ends to seal. Tie braid into a knot. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown; cover with foil during the last 15 minutes to prevent overbrowning. Melt remaining butter; brush over bread. Sprinkle with additional herbs if desired. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.