About this recipe:This lovely loaf is well worth the time and the effort. It's a yeast bread so it will rise in the oven. The sesame seeds are optional but they do add a nice flavour.
14g (1/2 oz) dried active baking yeast
100ml (4 fl oz) warm water (45 C)
450ml (16 fl oz) hot semi-skimmed milk
100g (4 oz) caster sugar
100g (4 oz) butter
2 teaspoons salt
125ml (4 1/2 fl oz) water
1.3kg (3 lb) plain flour
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
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Method Prep:2hr › Cook:55min › Ready in:2hr55min
Place yeast and warm water in a large mixing bowl. Let sit until the mixture is frothy.
Combine hot milk, sugar, butter, salt and 125ml water in a medium bowl. Let cool to 45 degrees C.
In small bowl, slightly beat 5 eggs, then add to cooled milk mixture. Add milk and egg mixture to yeast mixture. Add 250g (9 oz) flour and mix until smooth. Gradually add remaining flour until it forms a stiff dough. Knead on a floured board for 10 minutes (or 5 minutes with a bread hook in a stand mixer). Place in a large, lightly greased glass or plastic bowl. Turn dough over to grease both sides. Cover and let rise in a warm, dark place until doubled in volume, approximately 1 hour.
Punch down, cover, and let rise again until double, approximately 30 minutes.
Punch again, and cut into three parts. Form each part into a 50cm (20 in) roll. Plait rolls together on a large, greased baking tray. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Lightly beat remaining egg and brush onto plaited loaf. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in preheated 180 C / Gas mark 4 oven for about 55 minutes until nicely browned. Reduce baking time slightly if you make into two regular sized loaves.
SO good! Since everyone else said that the recipe made 2 huge loaves, I cut it half and used a little less than 3 eggs - I beat them in a separate bowl, then mixed in *just about* all of the egg. I think I overshot though because despite others having a dry bread, I had to add an EXTRA 200g flour to mine. Also, I traded some flour for wheat gluten. This was by far the best dough I've worked with, and the end result was perfect. I made one loaf (braided and wrapped it into a U-shape so it fit in the oven!) from the half recipe and baked it for 50 minutes on the dot, rotating it halfway through. My fiance was blown away, as was I! - 10 Mar 2011
WOW!! This was totally amazing! For me it made 3 large loaves though, but it's so yummy i'm not at all complaining! My parents just tucked into some, and going to give a loaf to my neighbour tomorrow.
Def will be making this again! Thanks for the great recipe - very very VERY good! - 25 Oct 2009
Awesome recipe. I made one huge loaf and everyone thought it was fake. Mine did not look like the picture...it looked like a professional bread, not at all homemade. It had a wonderful, mildly sweet taste. One hint...if you braid for one large loaf, remove your top oven rack. This thing comes to life once it starts baking. - 14 Jul 2008