For a long time I’ve been fascinated by the breadmaking and baking process. Quite some time ago I got to help Pipestrilla’s mom make a few loaves while spending the day over there. Something very peaceful and soothing about the process. Anyway, it was a slow day online and I got the urge to give it a shot. Found a simple recipe, modified it a bit…
In large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, salt, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary. Heat milk, water, and 1/4 cup butter until very warm (120? to 130?F); stir into dry ingredients. I messed up this a tad and added the butter and liquids before they were completely melted. A little vigor and ingenuity made things right and I proceeded.
Stir in an egg and enough remaining flour to make soft dough. I ended up using ~3 additional cups to do so. Remove the doughy mass and knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. A liberal coating of flour on your hands helps a great deal too. Cover; let rest on floured surface 10 minutes.
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 doubled in size, about 20 to 40 minutes.
Bake at 375?F for 30 to 35 minutes or until done, covering with foil during last 10 minutes to prevent excess browning. Melt a couple tablespoons of butter, and additional marjoram, thyme, and rosemary and brush on to glaze the loaf. Remove from sheet; let cool on wire rack.
Here’s a picture of my completed loaf. Not bad for my first time I think.