Saturday, April 5, 2014

E is for Egg Bread


Skill Level: Intermediate
Skills Attained: Yeast Bread
Supplies:
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2/3 c. warm water
  • 2 T. butter (softened) plus 1 T., melted (to brush on top of finished bread)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Small Bowl
  • Teaspoon
  • Mixer
  • Mixing bowl
  • Rolling pin
  • Mixing spoon
  • Knife
  • Baking Sheet
  • Brush

I really don't know why this is called "egg bread". Yes, there is one egg in it, but it's certainly not overly "eggy". I needed an "E" entry for the A to Z Challenge, so it'll work for me. I began making this bread recipe in my early teens mainly to accompany my family's Sunday dinners. Sunday dinners are a very fond childhood memory for me. We generally ate one large meal mid-afternoon rather than eating both lunch and supper. I presume we did this because we went to church in the morning and got home around noon. Then my mom or dad (depending on the week as they shared the cooking responsibilities) would get the roast in the oven. I have always been a morning person. So before we left for church and my brothers were scurrying around to get ready, I would start the bread dough to be ready for us to eat with our afternoon meal. 

Yeast bread recipes can be quite intimidating to me. I've failed many times when it comes to using yeast, but for some reason, this recipe always works for me. Perhaps it's the simplicity. With about 20 years of experience making this recipe, I can only remember a handful of times that the dough didn't rise. I hope you have as much success as I do with this egg bread recipe! 

A few things to note before you begin:
  • Soften the  butter. This will make sure it mixes well and is evenly incorporated in the dough. 
  • Use WARM water. In order for the yeast to activate properly, the water must be warm...not cold, not hot. If the water is too cold, the yeast will never activate. If the water is too hot, the yeast will die. In either case, your bread won't rise. So, use warm water. 
Now, let's begin...


In a small bowl, combine the water and yeast. 

Using a bread kneading attachment on  your mixer, combine 1 1/2 c. flour, sugar, yeast, salt, water, butter and egg in the mixing bowl for your mixer. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. 


Stir in the remaining 1 c. of flour. When you can't stir any longer, dump the contents out on the counter and knead by hand until a ball forms. 


Cover with a towel and let set in a warm area. (This could be on a window sill where the sun is shining or turn on the stove for a few minutes, turn it off and then set the bowl on top of the stove.) Let rise for 1 hour or until double in size. 


Place dough on a floured work surface and roll the dough out to a 12" x 6" rectangle. Cut the dough into three long pieces (12" x 2"). 



Roll the pieces into strands. Lightly grease a baking sheet and braid the stands into a loaf. 


Cover the loaf and let rise one more hour or until double in size. 


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake for 13-16 minutes or until golden brown.



Brush the melted butter on top of the warm loaf of bread. 




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Recipe:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. 
  2. Combine 1 1/2 c. flour, sugar, yeast, salt, water, butter and egg in the mixing bowl for your mixer. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the remaining 1 c. of flour. 
  4. Cover with a towel, set in a warm area, and let rise for 1 hour or until double in size. 
  5. Place dough on a floured work surface and roll the dough out to a 12" x 6" rectangle. 
  6. Cut the dough into three long pieces (12" x 2"). 
  7. Roll the pieces into strands. 
  8. Lightly grease a baking sheet and braid the stands into a loaf. 
  9. Cover the loaf and let rise one more hour or until double in size. 
  10. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake for 13-16 minutes or until golden brown. 
  11. Brush the melted butter on top of the warm loaf of bread. 

Check out more posts on my 2014 A to Z Challenge!