Braided Herb Bread

Braided Herb Bread

1 T. Salt

1 T. Rosemary

4 tsp. active dry yeast

7 C. All-purpose flour

2 1/2 C. Water

1 T. Butter

1 Egg, slightly beaten


In a large bowl, combine salt, rosemary, yeast and 2 1/2 cups flour. In 2 quart saucepan over low heat; heat water and butter until very warm (120 to 130 degrees F). Butter does NOT need to melt completely. With mixer at medium speed, gradually beat liquid into dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1 cup flour or enough to make a thick batter; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. With spoon, stir in 3 1/2 cups flour to make a soft, sticky dough.  Place in a greased bowl; cover with towel. Let dough rise in a warm place, away from draft, until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.  Punch down dough and turn onto well floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Divide into 6 equal pieces; roll each piece into an 18 inch rope. On one side of a large cookie sheet, braid 3 ropes. Repeat with remaining ropes. Cover with towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Brush tops of loaves with egg. bake 30 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped with fingers. Remove to racks to cool.

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