- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup honey
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (optional)
The bread is typically pale yellow in colour because so many eggs are used, and it has a rich flavour, too.
- In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over barely warm water. Beat in honey, oil, 2 eggs, and salt.
- Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens.
- Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed.
- Cover with a damp clean cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
- Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto a floured board. Divide in half and knead each half for five minutes or so, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky.
- Divide each half into thirds and roll into long snake about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and braid from middle.
- Either leave as braid or form into a round braided loaf by bringing ends together, curving braid into a circle, pinch ends together.
- Grease two baking trays and place finished braid or round on each. Cover with a towel and let rise for about one hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Beat the remaining egg and brush a generous amount over each braid. Sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired.
- Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 40 minutes. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
- Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.