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Prep2 hrs 30 mins
Posted by request. This bread is usually made once a year to celebrate St. Joseph's Day (March 19th). Prep time includes all kneading/rising time (approx. 2 1/2 hours).
- In a small bowl, combine the water, yeast, shortening, sugar, oil and salt.
- Let stand for 5 minutes.
- In a large mixer bowl, put 2 1/2 cups of the flour, add liquid (yeast) mixture.
- Beat by hand or on low speed of electric mixer until all ingredients are well blended.
- Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (about 6-8 minutes of kneading).
- Shape dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased bowl.
- Turn dough once to grease all surfaces.
- Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled (about 40-60 minutes).
- Punch down dough, and divide it into 6 equal pieces.
- Cover it and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Roll each piece (by hand) into a 12 inch long rope.
- Using 3 ropes for each loaf, braid the dough and secure the ends of the braid by tucking the ends underneath.
- Place the braids on greased baking sheets.
- Cover the braids, and let rise until nearly doubled (about 30-45 minutes).
- Brush top and sides of loaves with the beaten egg.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake in a 400°F oven for 25 minutes, or until bread tests done and is golden brown.
- Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.