A long time ago I knew a lady who made super good punch with frozen fruit and different juices and things in it. She would make it for church ladies events of which I have attended many in my days and it was always a hit. Later, when I was planning a party or something and I asked her for the recipe she told me, "I don't usually give it to people; I should charge $100 for it." But she did give it to me because I looked pathetic...or something.
It occurs to me that you might think I'm completely confused about today's post since I'm talking about punch but there is clearly a picture of bread up there. Nope, I just wanted to illustrate that this here braided bread recipe is so good it should cost a hundred dollars. And if I was an older church lady I might charge you for it.
Who told you to eat those carbs? Could it be...Satan?
Oh my gosh, reel me back in someone, please. But really, this bread is excellent. We are talking about bread. Really. Bread.
What I like best about this recipe is that it only needs to rise for 1/2 hour, which means even if you don't think about what you're making for dinner until, well, dinner time, you can still have it. Plus it looks pretty and tastes delicious.
Actually, let me revise my statement-what I like best about this bread is that it is super yummy, especially when it is hot and a little chewy right out of the oven. In all seriousness, Go! Make! Eat! My family is so happy when I make this. It's a good thing it makes two loaves because often one doesn't even make it to the table.
We just rip it apart like savages while it's cooling on the stove, smoother it in butter, and gobble it down. Like my mom said when we were kids, "it's only hot out of the oven once."
So, onto the recipe!
(This is a downloadable link for easy printing or saving)
1/2 cup of warm water
1 teasppon sugar
8 cups of flour
2 cups of water
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon of salt
1/4 cup sugar
Combine the yeast, 1/2 cup of warm water and sugar in a small bowl and set aside for about 5 minutes or until it's foaming.
Put all eight cups of flour into a large bowl and make a "well" in the middle.
Add all the ingredients including the yeast mixture.
Mix with a spoon as much as you can and then knead until smooth, adding flour until it is not sticky and bounces back.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl (I just give the bowl I've been using a quick wash and continue using it), oil the top of the dough, cover and let rise for about 1/2 hour.Divide the dough in half and then divide each half into three sections.
Pull each section into a rope.
Braid it on an oiled cookie sheet
Tuck the ends under and repeat with the other half of the dough.
Brush with a beaten egg.
Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees and 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
When it's all done you really should eat it warm. It's sooooo goooood!
Especially with Danish Creamery salted butter. Oh! I almost forgot to tell you. On day one we just pull it apart and eat it. If you have any left over (usually we don't) on day two you can slice it and make toast and it is the best toast ever!