Golden Egg Loaves (or Braids)
This is a rich and soft loaf suitable for sandwiches or slicing for use in a bread pudding, overnight egg bake, or French toast. It is equally good fresh out of the oven with butter and jam.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 1½ cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees F/43 to 46 degrees C)
- 6tablespoons honey
- 1½ tablespoons active dry yeast
- 6cups bread flour, divided, or more as needed
- ¼cup olive oil
- 3tablespoons vital wheat gluten
- 2tablespoons butter, softened
- 1tablespoon salt
Step 1Combine water, honey, and yeast in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let sit until mixture becomes foamy, about 10 minutes.
Step 2Pour 3 cups flour, olive oil, eggs, wheat gluten, and butter into the yeast mixture; mix on speed 2 (or low speed) in the stand mixer until flour mixture is incorporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt and 3 cups flour and mix on speed 2 until flour is incorporated into the dough. If dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl, continue mixing, 5 to 7 minutes. If dough is still sticky, add 1/4 cup flour at a time and knead for 2 minutes after each addition until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl; mix for 5 to 7 minutes.
Step 3Grease a large bowl.
Step 4Transfer dough to greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Set aside in a warm area of the kitchen until dough has doubled in size, 60 to 90 minutes.
Step 5Punch down dough and divide into 2 loaves. Place each dough half into a 9x5-inch loaf pan or on a baking sheet. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Step 6Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Step 7Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers an internal temperature of 200 degrees F (93 degrees C), 25 to 30 minutes.