Elena Turroni

Braided Bread

375 mL cups warm water
50 mL active dry yeast
75 mL granulated sugar
25 mL salt
3 large eggs
125 mL vegetable oil
1.5 L all-purpose flour (work in more flour if neccessary)

In large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Sprinkle in a couple of pinches of the sugar to activate yeast. When starts to activate, add remaining sugar, salt, eggs and oil. Add most of the flour and mix in with hands (adding more flour as necessary) to make sticky dough. Beat with hands, pushing against side of bowl, then punch several times with fist. Cover and refrigerate until doubled in bulk; punch down. Refrigerate until doubled in bulk again; punch down again.

Turn out onto lightly floured work surface. Divide in half. Divide each half into 4 equal portions and roll each into rope about 35 cm long. Pinch 4 of the ropes together at top. Starting with rope at right, braid 3 of the ropes once; place left-hand rope under adjacent rope. Continue this pattern until completely braided. Pinch together ends. Repeat with remaining 4 ropes to make another braided loaf. Place on baking sheets and form into crescent shape. Cover and let rise for 1-1/2 hours.

Bake in 180°C oven for about 35 minutes or until golden and light.



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