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Braided Garden Herb Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour {I used half whole wheat flour}
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 2 pkgs instant yeast (1tbsp+2tsp)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter +2tbsp, melted
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

  • In small bowl, combine warm milk and sugar. Add yeast and let sit 5 minutes, until mixture bubbles up and is frothy.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine salt and seasonings with 1/4 cup melted butter and water.
  • Add in milk-yeast mixture.
  • Mix in flour, 1 cup at a time.
  • Add in egg and mix until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead or mix in your mixer on medium speed for 7 additional minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Cover; let rest in a warm area for 10 minutes. {I like to cover my bowl with plastic wrap and set it out in the sun.
  • Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece to 30 inch rope. Braid ropes; pinch ends to seal. Tie knot in center of braid; wrap ends around knot, in opposite directions, and tuck under to make round loaf.
  • Place on greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubles in size, about 20 to 40 minutes.
  • Remove top rack from oven and bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 30 to 35 minutes or until done, covering with foil during last 15 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning.
  • Melt remaining butter; brush over loaf. Sprinkle with additional herbs, if desired. Remove from sheet; let cool on wire rack.