Hippocratic Loaf, The
Ask your doctor, this bread is an essential member of one of the five food groups. Not only is it light and tasty, but it is good for you! Really!
- 1/2 cup plus 2/3 cup luke warm water (100F to 110F)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. or 2 envelopes active dry yeast
- 5 large eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 7-8 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large or 2 small egg yolks mixed with 1 Tbsp. milk
- a second opinion
1. In a measuring cup, combine 1/2-cup warm water and 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle yeast over the sugar water and let sit about 15 minutes, until bubbly and fragrant.
2. In the work bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk together the 5 eggs. Add vegetable oil, salt and 1/2 cup sugar; beat until slightly thickened, 3-4 minutes. Beat in the remaining 2/3-cup warm water followed by the yeast-sugar mixture.
3. Fit mixer with dough hook and run on medium speed, adding the flour 1-cup at a time to make a cohesive dough, working in the flour well after each addition. Continue kneading the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Turn out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead by hand a few minutes, adding just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking.
4. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free area. Let rise until doubled in size (45 minutes to an hour).
5. Punch down dough. Re-cover and allow the dough to rise again (20-30 minutes). Grease a large baking sheet.
6. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Equally divide each piece into 3 balls. Using both hands, roll each piece back and forth into 9-inch-long ropes. Braid together 3 of the ropes into a double crossed loaf, pinching the ends together and tucking under to seal; repeat with remaining ropes.
7. Arrange the loaves on a baking sheet, cover with a clean towel and allow to rise at least 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F.
8. Brush loaves well with the egg and milk mixture. Place baking sheet on rack in the middle of the oven and bake until golden, about 30-40 minutes. While the bun's in the oven, take a moment to hatch a plan to double-cross your guests and get them to wash and dry the dishes.