Braid Bread

Jun 24, 2008

4 1/2 cups white flour
1 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 packages of dry yeast
1/4 cup butter, softened or melted
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 1/4 cups very warm, not hot, water
2 tbsp. molasses
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal

In large bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups of the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Add butter, eggs, and water and beat by hand or with mixer until all ingredients are combined. Then add another cup of white flour. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Divide equally into three bowls. In the first bowl, add and beat in 2 tbsp. molasses and 1 1/4 cups of wheat flour. In second bowl add in 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal. In third bowl add in the remaining 1 1/4 cups of white flour. Knead each batter on slightly floured board about 5 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic, bouncing back when poked. Grease all three bowls, place doughs in them, cover with damp cloths and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour. Punch down. On lightly floured board, divide each dough in half, roll each half into a rope about 15 inches long. Braid together the white, corn, and wheat rope. Tuck the ends under and repeat with three remaining ropes. Place in greased 9×4 inch loaf plans. Cover with damp cloth over waxed paper, let rise again until doubled, about an hour. Heat oven to 350. Bake 25-30 minutes, until cornmeal braid is light brown on top. Baste with 2 tbsp. melted butter. Return to oven 10 more minutes. Loaf should be hollow when tapped. Let cool for 30 minutes.


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