Sue Bee Honey Braided Bread
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- 1/2 cup Sue Bee® Honey
- 5 1/2 cups flour, plus extra for kneading
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 4 eggs
- 1 can evaporated milk, lukewarm
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened to room temp
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour and salt. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix yeast with warm water. Set aside and let the yeast activate and expand.
- In a large bowl, beat 4 eggs. Add lukewarm milk, softened butter, Sue Bee Honey and activated yeast, then blend.
- Add flour mixture to the milk-honey mixture 1 cup at a time, blending after each cup to make sure all flour is incorporated.
- After the flour has been incorporated and the dough has a satiny consistency, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 3-4 minutes until smooth and elastic (don't overwork your dough).
- Place dough in a large bowl that has been coated with butter; turn the dough over in bowl to coat dough with butter. Cover the bowl with plastic and then put a damp towel over the plastic and bowl to keep the dough moist. Place the bowl in a warm place for dough to rise (dough should double in volume in approximately 1 hour).
- Punch down or deflate dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into 2 equal parts and shape into rounds. Cover and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
- To form the braid, roll each round of dough into a long roll about 36 long and 1 1/2 thick. Using the 2 long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring on a large baking sheet. Seal the ends of the ring together and tuck the loose ends under the dough.
- The natural separation of the 2 rolls creates nesting spots in the braid for the 10 colored eggs. Evenly distribute the eggs between the folds of the dough braid.
- Place the braided dough in a warm spot, covering with the damp towel; let rise for about 45 minutes. Gently brush braid with the remaining melted butter and bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. The colored eggs will cook as the bread bakes.
Sue Bee Honey http://www.suebee.com/