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Author Notes: Every spring, my mom would make two or three recipes consistently. This bread was often baked right around Easter.
She's always loved baking breads, her favorite part - the kneading. Being the "carbo-holic" that I am, I certainly never complained. It was cathartic for her and delicious for us! This bread uses a basic sweet dough recipe, which is then rolled in cinnamon sugar and braided for a pretty finish. —Oops! Were you gonna eat that?
Makes 1 large loaf
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt (1.5 if using large flake Kosher salt)
- 2 packets active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 1/2 to 5 cups all purpose flour
- Cinnamon sugar
- Scald the milk then immediately add the butter, sugar and salt. Stir well and let cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the yeast and the warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- To the yeast mixture, add the cooled milk mixture, the beaten eggs and 2 cups of the flour. Mix well.
- Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
- Place dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (1 to 2 hours).
- Once the dough has risen, divide into 5 equal balls. Roll each ball between your hands and the counter, making them into thick "ropes" about 10 or so inches long. Roll each "rope" in cinnamon sugar to thoroughly coat.
- Take 3 of the "ropes" and make a braid, pinching both ends together. Place the braid on a parchment lined baking sheet. Take the remaining two "ropes" and make a twist, again, pinching both ends together. Place the twist directly on top of the braid.
- Bake at 350 F for 40-45 minutes, making sure not to overbake. This is great sliced and served as toast with a light brush of butter.