Aside from being downright delicious, nutritious, and very filling, it seems that any bread that is shaped in the form of a twist is also very impressive. This bread is one of my family
- 2¼ tsp dry yeast -
- ½ cup lukewarm water -
- ½ tsp honey -
- 1½ cups warm water -
- 1 Tbsp honey -
- 1½ Tbsp salt -
- 5–6 cups whole wheat fl our -
- 1 scant Tbsp natural dough enhancer, opt. but recommended -
- sesame seeds -
- poppy seeds -
1. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Add the ½ tsp honey and stir. Cover and let this sit for few minutes until it is foaming and doubled in volume.
2. Pour the water, 1 tbsp honey, and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir. Add the foaming yeast. Add the fl our a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the dough enhancer while adding the fl our. Continue to add more fl our until a stiff dough is formed. Cover the dough with a towel and let it stand a few minutes. (I leave the dough in the mixing bowl.) Knead the dough for 8–10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. Place it in a greased bowl, turning the dough to grease the top. Cover with a plastic bag and a towel. Let the dough rise for 1¼ hours or until doubled.
3. Punch down the dough and knead it for a few minutes until all air bubbles disappear. Divide the dough in half and each half into three equal parts. Roll each part into a rope, app. 14” (35 cm) long. Braid three strands and seal the ends. Bring both ends around to form a circle, connecting the ends by wetting your fi ngertips and lightly pasting the dough together. You will have two circular braided loaves. Place them, well spaced, on a greased and lightly fl oured baking sheet. Cover them lightly with a towel and let them rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Brush the top of the loaves with water (this makes them crispy) and sprinkle with seeds of your choice. Bake for 40–45 minutes for crusty brown yummy loaves! Cool and slice.
NOTE: I tried this without the dough enhancer and the texture was not as chewy nor as palatable. Also, to give this bread authentic Italian flavor, sprinkle some oregano or Italian seasoning on top of the bread before baking. You can also add small pieces of sun-dried tomatoes (soaked, well drained, and chopped) to the dough for extra flavor.
TIP: This bread is fat-free, egg-free, and so versatile; it pays to double the recipe. If you do, don’t double the salt – put in 2½ Tbsp. These loaves freeze beautifully.
This recipe was featured in Mishpacha Magazine, Issue 104