|Compressed yeast cake/2 teaspoons active dry yeast||3⁄4|
|Lukewarm water||1 1⁄4 Cup (20 tbs)|
|Sifted all purpose flour||4 Cup (64 tbs)|
|Eggs||2 , beaten|
|Egg yolk||1 , beaten|
|Poppy seeds||1 Teaspoon|
Stir the yeast and half the sugar into the warm water until well mixed.
Leave for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
Sift the flour, remaining sugar and salt together.
Add the yeast liquid to 1 1/2 cups of the sifted flour and stir until smooth and well mixed.
Cover the bowl with a sheet of oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
Add the beaten eggs to the risen mixture and mix well.
Work in the remaining flour to make a dough then turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a bowl, dustthe top with a little flour and cover with the oiled plastic wrap.
Leave to rise again in a warm place until doubled in size.
This richer mixture will take longer than usual to rise.
Punch down and knead the risen dough for about 3 minutes then divide it into 3 equal pieces.
Roll each piece on a lightly floured surface to round strips about 12 inches long.
Work the 3 strips together at one end and braid them carefully.
Place this braided loaf on a greased baking sheet, cover and allow to rise again until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Brush with the egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon of water, and sprinkle with poppy seeds, if liked.
Bake in the center of a moderately hot oven (400°F) for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 375°F and continue baking for 35 minutes, or until the top of the loaf is delicately browned.
Cool on a cake rack.