Braided Hawaiian Egg Loaves

Image: Braided Hawaiian Egg Loaves.

1/2 cup warm water (100° - 110°F)
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup lite coconut milk
1/2 cup honey
4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2  teaspoons salt
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple,  thoroughly drained
2 1/2 teaspoons coconut, pineapple or lemon extract
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
6 - 6 3/4 cups bread flour, divided
Egg wash:1 egg plus 1 tablespoon cold water, beaten 
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, divided for the top


  1. In  mixer bowl, combine water, yeast and sugar. Let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in coconut milk, honey, eggs, salt, pineapple, extract, nuts and 5 cups flour.  Gradually add additional flour until a workable dough is formed.
  3. Knead by hand or with dough hook, 10 to 12 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover, let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough. 
  4. Divide dough into 8 equal portions. Let rest covered 10 minutes. Roll into 15-inch long ropes. 
  5. To shape a four-strand braid: Lay four ropes side-by-side, and pinch them together at one end. The far left strand is #1, next is #2 then #3, and the far right is #4. Take the left-hand strand #1 and move it to the right over strands #2 and #3, then tuck it back under strand #3. Take the right-hand strand #4 and move it to the left over strands #3 and #1, then tuck it back under strand #1.
  6. Repeat this process until finished. Seal braid ends by pressing firmly together and tucking under. Repeat with four remaining ropes for second loaf.
  7. Place braids on greased or parchment paper-lined 18 x 12 x 1-inch baking sheets. Cover, let rise until double. Test gently with finger. A slight indentation shows loaves are ready to bake. Brush the loaves with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  8. Bake in preheated 375°F oven 20 to 23 minutes, or until golden brown. Tent with foil last 5 minutes to prevent over-browning. A thermometer inserted in the center of loaf should test about 190°F. Remove from baking sheets, cool on rack. 

Makes 2 large loaves,  16 servings each.

Nutrition information per serving:
One slice provides approximately 160 calories; 5 g protein; 27 g carbohydrate; 1 g dietary fiber;  4 g fat (1 g saturated); 29 mg cholesterol; 62 mcg folate;  2 mg iron and 125 mg sodium.