County Fair Bread

READY IN: 4hrs
YIELD: 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.