Yield: three large braided loaves
- 3 each pkgs. of dry yeast
- 1/2 c. warm water
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. buttermilk
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. sour cream
- 3 each large eggs
- 1/2 c. egg yolks
- 1/2 c. butter, softened
- 1/4 tsp. yellow food coloring
- 6 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 each large eggs
- In a mixing bowl, combine the yeast in the water to soften the yeast. Add the sugar, milk and flour and mix the dough until it is smooth. Rest in a warm area until the mixture is bubbly and doubled in size.
- Thoroughly mix (in a separate bowl) the eggs, egg yolks, butter, sour cream and food coloring.
- Add the egg mixture to the yeast mixture in a standing mixer. Using the dough hook at medium speed, completely combine the yeast and egg mixtures.
- Add the remaining flour and salt, and on the machine mix on speed one (or by hand, using a kneading motion work the dough until it is smooth and elastic).
- Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise until double in size, 1-1 1/2 hours.
- Punch down the dough and divide into equal portions. Roll each portion into a long strip about 1 inch in diameter and about 12-14 inches long.
- Lay three of the strips side by side and “braid” the strips by crossing each piece over the other. Pinch the ends together and tuck them under the loaf.
- Beat the eggs thoroughly and brush the dough with the egg wash. Place in a warm area of the kitchen and let the loaves proof until doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes.
- Bake in a 325° oven for about 25 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.