County Fair Bread

"This comes from the well known chef James Beard."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
2 loaves




  • In a large mixing bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, sugar, salt, and dry yeast.
  • Heat the milk and butter in a pan just until the milk is warm.
  • The butter does not need to melt.
  • Add the eggs and the warm milk mixture to the flour mixture.
  • Mix very well until thoroughly moistened, and beat with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
  • Turn out on a floured board, and knead the dough until it is quite smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
  • Work into a ball, place in a buttered bowl, and turn to coat with butter on all sides.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until light and doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hrs.
  • Punch the dough down and divide into six equal portions.
  • Roll each of these portions into a thin cylinder about 8 to 10 inches long.
  • Take three strips and braid them together.
  • Place the braid on a baking sheet, which should be buttered or sprinkled with cornmeal.
  • Braid the remaining three strips and place about six inches away from the other loaf.
  • For a more spectacular loaf, make a braid of three large strips and then a braid of three smaller strips, and put one on top of the other.
  • Cover the loaves and let rise in a warm, draft-free space until doubled in bulk, which will take another 1 1/2 hrs.
  • Brush with the egg white and water, sprinkle lavishly with sesame seeds.
  • If you've made two smaller loaves, bake in a preheated 375 F oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
  • The single, larger loaf will need a good hour in the oven.

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This is a picture of me and my husband in Portugal, climbing up above the clouds with our bikes. Right now we are travelling around the world on our bicycles, so I only pop onto Zaar occasionally, when internet connections and time allow me to. If I don't reply to a message about one of my recipes, now you know why! Our trip may take several years so if it's urgent, it's probably better for you to post in the forums ;) Good food is really important to me -- I am happy to pay extra for food that I feel is produced in a sustainable and ethical way and always try to eat using seasonal produce. When we were in the UK we rarely shopped at supermarkets, trying instead to favour small producers, although we were very lucky in that we lived in London and there was lots of choice. We also were fortunate enough to have a weekly organic veg box delivered to our door, filled with so many lovely vegetables for very little money. It really opened my horizons in terms of the variety of vegetables I eat. If you're in the UK, check out Riverford for a box supplier as they're amazing! When I'm not eating I love to take pictures and travel with my husband. <img src="">
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