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Celebration Braid

During the holidays, I sometimes make a couple of these golden loaves a day to give as gifts. Everyone in our family loves them any time of year. The recipe originated with one for Jewish challah, which I began making over a decade ago. —Marcia Vermaire Fruitport, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    1 loaf. (32 servings)

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, combine eggs, butter, sugar, salt, yeast mixture and 3 cups flour; beat on medium speed 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • On a floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into four portions. Shape each into an 18-in. rope. Place ropes side by side on a greased baking sheet. Beginning at one end, braid dough by placing the first rope over the second rope, under the third and over the fourth. Repeat three or four times, beginning each time from the same end. Pinch ends to seal; tuck under.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk egg yolk with water; brush over braid. Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 95 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 22mg cholesterol, 94mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein.
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