Photo: Sheri Giblin; Food Styling: Margaret Dickey; Prop Styling: Amy Stone
Active Time
35 Mins
Total Time
6 Hours
Yield
Serves 15  (serving size: 1 slice)

This traditionally Jewish bread requires 2 rising times, but the rich anf fluffy result is definitely worth it. Toast it, top it with jam, or use leftovers in French toast. You can also use dark raisins, dried cranberries, or omit the raisins completely, if desired. Divide the dough into 3 pieces for easier braiding. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the Sponge: Stir together milk, flour, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm (85°F) place, free from drafts, until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Step 2

Prepare the Dough: Add sugar, oil, honey, whole eggs, 2 of the egg yolks, and 6 tablespoons of the water to Sponge, stirring until well combined. (Mixture may have a few lumps.) Add flour and salt. Using dough hook attachment, beat on low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as necessary. Add raisins; beat on medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute.

Step 3

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 1 to 2 minutes. Let dough rise in a warm (85°F) place, free from drafts, until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each dough portion into an 18-inch log. Cover and let rest about 10 minutes. Pinch ends of dough portions together at 1 end to seal. Braid dough; pinch loose ends to seal. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet; tuck both ends of dough under. Whisk together remaining 2 egg yolks and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Brush dough with some of egg mixture; reserve remaining egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap coated with cooking spray, and let rise in a warm (85°F) place, free from drafts, until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Step 4

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake dough in preheated oven about 10 minutes; rotate pan. Brush dough with reserved remaining egg mixture, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Tent with aluminum foil. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until deep golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and place on wire rack; cool completely, about 1 hour.

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