Ancient recipe. This is an involved yeast bread but it is beautiful and tasty! The filling could easily be herbs rather than onion. The paprika makes for a nice color in the filling but it could easily be omitted. Add more herbs though to absorb the butter.
- 1 tablespoon dry yeast
- 1⁄2 cup hot water
- 4 cups flour, divided
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄4 cup margarine or 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1 egg
- 1⁄4 cup melted butter or 1⁄4 cup margarine
- 1⁄2 cup onion, very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese (or other grated cheese)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds or 1 tablespoon poppy seed (I choose poppy but you could leave out seeds)
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Heat oven to 350 F degrees.
- Grease two cookie sheets.
- In a large bowl dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup hot water (105 degrees).
- Add 2 cups flour, the sugar, milk, salt, butter and egg, blending at low speed until moistened.
- Beat 2 minutes at medium speed.
- Stir in remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Cover and let rise in a warm and dry place until double in bulk, 45-60 minutes.
- Combined all filling ingredients.
- Stir down dough and divide in half.
- Roll each half out to a 18x12" rectangle on a floured surface.
- Cut length-wise in to three 4x18 inch strips.
- Transfer strips to a cookie sheet.
- Fill each strip with filling.
- Use a brush to lightly dampen edges with water and pinched closed.
- Braid the three strips like a pony tail, being sure to pinch ends tightly.
- Tuck them under a bit for a beautiful loaf.
- Repeat with second dough on a second sheet.
- Let rise until double, about 45-60 minutes.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes.
- Brush with butter when removed from the oven for a glossy finish if desired.
- serve warm or cold.