Golden Sesame Braids

I love the smell of freshly baked bread in my kitchen.  I love eating freshly baked bread in my kitchen!  This recipe makes a beautiful dough, easy to work with yet so light and delicious.  The braid makes it extra special, nice to serve for dinner or special occasion.  I got this recipe from Taste of Home, it says to make one loaf.  I like to make two smaller loaves, they are still good size.  I changed the recipe a bit, and braided it differently than their recipe.


2 pkgs (4½ tsp) active dry yeast
1¼ cups warm water (110° to 115°)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
4½ to 5 cups flour
1 egg yolk
1 Tbl cold water
1 Tbl sesame seeds

In large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add oil, sugar, salt, eggs, and 3 cups flour.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).  Knead until smooth and elastic. Place in bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat top.  Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface, divide into six equal pieces. Shape each portion into a 20-in. rope. Place all six ropes parallel to each other on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray or silpat.  This makes two long loaves.

Working with three ropes side-by-side, start braid at center of loaf, yes, center.  Place right rope over center rope, left rope over center rope, continue to the end, pinch ends together and tuck under.  Turn baking sheet around to work other side so unbraided ropes face you.  This side place center rope over right rope, then center rope over left rope, continue to the end, pinch ends together and tuck under.

Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.  Beat egg yolk and cold water; brush over braids.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake at 350° 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.

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