|Active dry yeast||1⁄2 Ounce (2 packages)|
|Warm water||1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)|
|Unbleached all purpose flour||5 1⁄2 Cup (88 tbs)|
|Butter/Margarine||4 Tablespoon, softened|
|Poppy seeds||3 Teaspoon|
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the 1 1/2 cups water and let stand until bubbly .
Stir in salt and honey.
Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour and, with a wooden spoon or heavy duty electric mixer at medium speed, beat until dough is elastic and pulls away from sides of bowl .
Beat in butter, then add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in about 2 1/2 cups more flour, about 1 cup at a time, to make a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic.
Place dough in a greased bowl; turn over to grease top.
Cover and let rise in a warm place (80Â°) until doubled (50 to 60 minutes).
Punch down dough and divide in half.
Divide each half into three equal pieces and roll each piece into a rope about 14 inches long.
Pinch tops of each group of three ropes together, braid to make a loaf, then pinch ends together.
Place braided loaves several inches apart on a large greased baking sheet.
Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (80Â°) for about 30 minutes n a small bowl, beat egg yolk with the 1 tablespoon water.
Brush mixture lightly over each loaf.
Bake in a 375Â° oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until loaves are well browned and sound hollow when tapped.
Slide loaves onto a rack and let cool.