- 3 cups bread flour *
- 3 tablespoons instant yeast
- 1/2 cup water, about 75-80°F
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- *Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Sift flour and set aside. If eggs are still cold place them in a bowl filled with hot water for 5 minutes.
- Pour yeast and water and eggs in a bowl large enough to hold all ingredients. Mix to combine. Add vanilla extract, sugar and honey. Add sifted flour followed by salt and melted butter.
- Use a dough hook or your hands to mix dough until elastic and smooth, about 5-7 minutes, on medium speed. Dough will become less sticky as it is kneaded.
- Place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until dough is doubled in volume, this will take nearly an hour.
- Remove dough from bowl, this will make dough collapse. This is normal and is required. Cut dough into 3 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Roll each round into a 20-inch long tube. Braid 3 tubes into a simple 3-part braid.
- Place on a parchment lined or well buttered cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap.
- Meanwhile preheat oven to 350°F.
- When loaf has gained about 60% (not doubled) volume, brush loaf carefully with beaten egg and place in oven.
- Bake for 40 minutes. If loaf is getting too dark place a buttered sheet of aluminum foil on bread during baking.