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Braided Sesame Bread

Ingredients

3 cups bread flour (375 gr)

1 envelope yeast (2 1/4 tbsp. or 7gr)

1 tsp. salt (4 gr)

1 tbsp. sugar (12.5 gr)

1 cup water (240 ml)

2 tbsp. sesame oil (30 ml)

Topping:

1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp. (15 ml) milk

¼ cup toasted sesame seeds (35 gr)

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Stir to combine, and then add water and sesame oil. Continue to stir to combine and begin to knead the dough as it comes together. (You may need to add a spoonful more flour or water to get the right firmness for kneading.)

Knead the dough by hand for 8-10 minutes on a floured surface or knead by using the dough hook attachment in an electric mixer for 4-5 minutes.

Coat the interior of a large clean bowl with vegetable oil, and place the kneaded dough in the bowl, turning several times to coat the dough with vegetable oil. Place in a warm area (about 70°-80° F (21°-26°C) and allow to rise for 45 minutes. Punch down, and allow to rise for another 45 minutes.

Punch down again and divide the dough into three equal strips. Roll the strips into long pieces, about 2”x12” (5cm x 30 cm) cylinders. Pinch all three together at their tips, and then braid. Pinch together the tips again when finished braiding, and then tuck both tips under the braided bread to form a nice shape. Brush the bread with the beaten egg and milk mixture, and then top with toasted sesame seeds.

Allow to rise again on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for another 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C).

After the bread has completed the 3rd rise, bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp. Cool completely before slicing.