1 pkg. active dry yeast (¼ oz)
1 cup lukewarm water
1/2 tsp. sugar
3 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. salt
¼ cup plus 1 tsp. vegetable oil
approx. 4 cups unbleached flour
1 egg yolk
In a large bowl, combine yeast and lukewarm water. Sprinkle in sugar and set aside until yeast begins to bubble (5-10 minutes). Add the honey, salt and ¼ cup oil and beat in an electric mixer on medium until blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in 4 cups of flour until a ball forms with the dough.
Turn dough on floured work surface and knead in more flour as necessary until dough is very smooth and soft and has lost all stickiness – about 10 minutes.
Coat large bowl with remaining 1 tsp. oil. Form dough into a ball and place it into the bowl. Cover with towel and let rise 1-1/2– 2 hours.
Punch down dough. Braid (on baking sheet) and let stand for 1 plus hours until double in bulk. (Here’s a video to do a 4-strand braid. Or do a regular 3-strand braid.)
Preheat oven to 350° – brush on beaten egg yolk (sprinkle on sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cinnamon sugar, olive salt…. whatever you like, if desired) and bake for 30 minutes.
This recipe will make one large loaf or 2 small ones.