From My Carolina Home

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Rustic Egg Bread

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I love the aroma of baking bread and there is nothing like fresh bread without preservatives.  I used to have a bread machine, but when we moved to the NC mountains, the altitude didn’t allow it to work well.  Rising times take a little longer here.  Some years ago I found a recipe for a bread that used eggs that was braided like this, but it used shortening.  I like the consistency better with real butter.  It makes a dense, crusty bread with a nice crumb inside.  If you want it for dinner tonight, start it about 5 hours before you want to serve.  However, it is wonderful warmed the next day, too.  If you aren’t going to be able to eat it in a couple of days, it freezes well.  A tip I figured out long ago is that Vitamin E is a natural preservative, and adding the liquid from inside a Vitamin E capsule to the dough will make your bread stay fresher longer.

Egg Bread 13

This is an easy bread, as yeast breads go, not requiring any really special ingredients.  First assemble the ingredients.

Bread ingredients

Dissolve yeast in warm water.

Bread yeast

Scald the milk in a small saucepan, and pour into large bowl.

Bread scald milk

Add sugar, butter, salt, and milk, and stir until butter melts. Add water, stir to combine and let cool.

Bread 7

At this point, I transferred it to my mixer bowl, which I should have used in the first place.  Add yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour.

Bread mixing

Mix at low speed until smooth.  If you are going to add the Vitamin E, now’s the time.

Bread mixing 2

Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough, using the mixer’s lowest speed. Place in greased bowl; turn once to grease top.

Bread in bowl

Cover and let rise in warm place free from drafts until doubled, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Egg Bread 2

Punch down. Cover and let rise again until almost doubled, about 30-45 minutes.

Egg Bread 4

Divide into three portions. On a lightly floured surface, shape each into rope about 14 inches long.

Egg Bread 6

Braid the ropes together on greased baking sheet; pinch ends to seal. You will bake it on this sheet so you won’t deflate the dough moving it again.  Spread the braids apart a little in the middle to create an oval. Do not stretch dough.

Egg Bread 7

Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.  I like to put my bread inside an oven with the light on.  It creates just enough warmth to let the bread rise, and it keeps it away from any drafts.

Egg Bread 8

After the third rise, you have a nice loaf.

Egg Bread 10

Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes.

Egg Bread 11

Brush melted butter over loaf.

Egg Bread 12

And there you have it, a wonderful crusty bread with a nice fine crumb inside.  It is great for a sandwich, wonderful toasted for breakfast, served beside a hot bowl of soup, or a nice addition to any meal.  Enjoy!

Egg Bread 14

 Rustic Egg Bread

1 package yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup softened, unsalted butter

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup milk

1/4 cup water

2 eggs, lightly beaten

4-5 cups flour

Melted butter

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Scald the milk in a small saucepan, and pour into large bowl. Add sugar, butter, salt, and milk in a large bowl and stir until butter melts. Add water, stir to combine and let cool. Add yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour; mix at low speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Place in greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place free from drafts until doubled, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Punch down. Cover and let rise again until almost doubled, about 30-45 minutes.

Divide into three portions. On a floured surface, shape each into a 14-inch-long rope. Braid the ropes together on greased baking sheet; pinch ends to seal. Spread the braids apart a little in the middle to create an oval. Do not stretch dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.

Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes. Brush melted butter over loaf.

Yield one loaf.

 

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Author: Carole @ From My Carolina Home

Blog frommycarolinahome.com

One thought on “Rustic Egg Bread

  1. I am going to try this recipe. Nothing better than the scent of freshly baked bread. I used to do it once a week but that fell by the wayside. Now I do it “on occasion.” This sound too good NOT to try. I spent a lot of time when I was growing up in the hills of NC. My grandparents lived up in Mars Hill. I loved to go there for a visit. I see you reviewed the book Bread Alone. I thoroughly enjoyed that one.

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