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Poppy Seed Egg Braids

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<p><a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mixed_bread_tresses.jpg">Poppy Seed Egg Braid</a></p>
Ingredients
  Warm water 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs) (105 F/ 40 C)
  Active dry yeast 1⁄4 Ounce (1 Package / 1 Tablespoon)
  Sugar 1 Teaspoon
  Milk 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Butter/Margarine 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Sugar 2 Tablespoon
  Salt 1 Teaspoon
  Eggs 3 , beaten
  All purpose flour 2 1⁄2 Cup (40 tbs)
  Bread flour/All purpose flour 3 Cup (48 tbs)
  Egg yolk 1
  Milk 2 Tablespoon
  Poppy seeds 2 Tablespoon
Directions

Pour 1/4 cup warm water into a small bowl; stir in yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar until dissolved.
Set aside until foamy, about 15 minutes.
Heat 1 cup milk in a small saucepan until bubbles form around edge of pan.
Cut butter or margarine into 4 pieces; add to milk.
Stir in 2 tablespoons sugar and salt.
Pour milk mixture into a large bowl.
Cool to 105F (40C) or until a few drops on your wrist feel warm.
Add yeast mixture, eggs and 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour; beat until smooth.
Cover with a dry cloth.
Set aside 20 minutes.
Add bread flour or all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from side of bowl.
Turn out on a lightly floured board.
Knead dough, adding flour as necessary, until smooth and elastic.
Clean and grease bowl.
Place dough in bowl, turning to grease all sides.
Cover with a dry cloth.
Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Punch down dough by pushing your fist into center; pull edges of dough over center.
Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface.
Knead 5 times.
Divide dough into 8 equal parts.
Grease 2 baking sheets.
Roll each piece of dough with your hands to form a 12-inch rope.
Place 4 ropes, side-by-side lengthwise, on a greased baking sheet.
At far end or top, pinch 4 rope-ends together.
Braid, lifting far right rope over next rope, under third rope and over fourth rope.
Repeat, starting each time with far right rope.
Braid to end of ropes.
Pinch ends together and fold under.
Repeat braiding with remaining 4 ropes.
In a small bowl, beat egg yolk with 2 tablespoons milk.
Brush egg mixture over braids.
Sprinkle generously with poppy seeds; press seeds into braids.
Cover with a dry cloth.
Let rise until light, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
Bake until golden brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped with your fingers, about 30 minutes.

Recipe Summary

Method: 
Baked
Dish: 
Bread
Ingredient: 
Egg

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