2 packages RED STAR® Active Dry Yeast
1 ¼ cups warm water (110-115°F), divided
¾ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup nonfat dry milk powder
5 ½ - 6 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 beaten eggs
½ cup butter
¼ cup dried currants (optional)
1 tablespoon water
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in ¼ cup of the water. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the sugar on top; let stand 5 minutes.
- Stir in remaining 1 cup water, sugar, dry milk, and 2 ½ cups of the flour. Beat 2 minutes. Add salt, 3 eggs and butter; blend well. Add remaining flour a little at a time until a soft dough forms.
- Knead 10 to 12 minutes by hand or with dough hook. Place in greased bowl; turn to coat. Cover, let rise until double. Punch dough down. Divide into two equal pieces. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
- Braided Loaf: If desired, knead currants in one half. Cover; let rest 30 minutes. Divide dough into three equal parts; roll into 14-inch ropes. Lay ropes side-by-side on greased baking sheet. Starting in middle, braid. Pinch ends; turn under and pinch to seal.
- Cover; let rise until double. Using a pastry brush, cover entire surface with egg wash (1 egg and 1 tablespoon water beaten together).
- Bake in a preheated 350°F oven, 30 to 35 minutes, or until tested done. Loosely cover loaves with aluminum foil the last 10 to 15 minutes to prevent over-browning.
Makes 2 loaves, 20 slices each
Nutrition information per serving (one slice): 113 cal, 3 g fat, 28 mg chol, 92 mg sodium, 18 g carbo, 0.5 g fiber, 3g pro, 40 mcg folate.