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Swiss Egg Braid

Yield 4 loaves

Ingredients

  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 14 1/2 to 15 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup shortening, melted
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Butter or margarine, melted

How to Make It

  1. Scald milk; let cool to lukewarm (105° to 115°). Dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly.

  2. Combine milk, dissolved yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 3 cups flour in a large bowl; stir well. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

  3. Stir mixture down. Add 4 cups flour, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, shortening, and salt; mix well. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough.

  4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top; cover.

  5. Let dough rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 10 minutes.

  6. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Divide each portion into 3 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a 12-inch rope. Braid ropes, pinching ends to seal. Place braided loaf in a greased 9- x 5- x 3-inch loaf pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 3 portions of dough.

  7. Cover and repeat rising procedure 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Combine egg yolk and water; beat well, and gently brush over top of loaves. Bake at 325° for 45 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove bread from pans immediately; cool on wire, racks. Brush with melted butter.

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