Saturday, April 27, 2019

Dozen Yolk Braided Bread

This Dozen Yolk Braided Bread is sweetened with honey and made rich and tender with twelve egg yolks and a hint of soy milk (non traditional but tasty!). Whole wheat bread flour ups the nutrition and the flavour profile as well.

After baking the delicious Angel Food Cake for my birthday, I was left with a lot of egg yolks. Seeing as how we already had enough cake to open a small bakery (between my cake, my sister's three-layer chocolate birthday cake and the vanilla cupcakes Mom always makes for special occasions), making pound cake or another dessert (like custard) wasn't practical. I spent an afternoon googling alternate uses, and soon I came across a recipe for Challah using eight yolks. That seemed like a good starting point, but I also had soy milk on hand that was about to turn, so I modified the Challah into a soft, rich braided bread sprinkled with sesame seeds and perfumed with orange zest, vanilla and honey.

The recipe makes two huge loaves, which is great if you're my family who goes through bread like it's going out of style, and it freezes beautifully as well. Depending on the humidity and the type of flour you have on hand, you may need extra flour to get the dough come together - you want it tacky but not wet, and it should clear the sides of your mixing bowl. Once it was cool enough to slice (an agonizing wait for Mom) at least two pieces "disappeared" along with some homemade grape jam. The sweet, eggy flavour is primed for a fresh fruity Toast Topper, as well as a smear of butter. Since I've made the angel food cake once more, I have a feeling the freezer is about to get another round of this treat!

Dozen Yolk Braided Bread
Adapted from Eva Bakes
Makes two large loaves
cups lukewarm soy milk (I used vanilla) 
tbsp instant yeast
12 egg yolks (I used the whites to make this delicious cake)
 1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
 1 tbsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange (optional)
7 2/3 cups whole wheat bread flour
2 tsp salt
1 egg + 2 tbsp water for egg wash
sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the soy milk, yeast, egg yolks, oil, honey, vanilla and orange zest, whisking well.
  2. Add the flour and salt and mix until a soft, elastic dough forms that just clears the sides of the bowl (about 10 minutes kneading with the dough hook or 15 by hand).
  3. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rest 1 - 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.
  4. Punch down and divide in 6. Roll each piece into a short log, cover and let rest 5 minutes.
  5. Roll each log into a long rope. 
  6. Use three strands to braid a loaf, place on a silicone or parchment lined sheet pan. Repeat for the remaining strands.
  7. Cover with a clean towel and let rise 45 minutes - 1 hour, until almost doubled.
  8. Heat the oven to 350F. 
  9. Brush loaves with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate pans in the oven and bake a further 30 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.

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