SERVES: 2 loaves
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup very warm water (120°F to 130°F)
- 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg white
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon cold water
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- Combine butter and water in a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup; set aside.
- Place 4 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl of electric mixer with dough hook attachment. Turn mixer on and mix 1 minute to throughly mix dry ingredients. With mixer running, gradually pour in butter mixture. Mix for 1 minute, then add eggs and egg white and mix to incorporate; mix 1 minute more. Add 1/2 cup flour and mix 1 minute more. Repeat using remaining flour until smooth dough forms. Mix for 2 minutes longer.
- Transfer dough to well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down and divide in half. Divide each half into three pieces. Roll each piece to a 14-inch rope. Braid three ropes together, tucking ends under, and place on greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ropes. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Beat egg yolk and water together. Brush loaves with mixture and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake at 400°F for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Remove from baking sheets immediately and cool on wire racks.