Note: This bread is delightfully dense, has a hint of sweetness and is way easier than it looks. It looks impressively difficult! This would be a great hostess present that you can WOW people with! For this recipe, I used my bread maker to do the hard work - mixing and the first rising cycle.
1/3 cup water
1.5 tbsp butter
3 tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt
3 cups flour
1 tbsp yeast
1) Add the ingredients in the order they are listed into your bread machine. Set it to the dough/white dough setting. Mine takes about 90 minutes to finish.
2) When your bread maker is done, remove the dough and punch it down.
3) Cut the dough into 3 equal parts. Roll each part into 18 inch long ropes. Braid them together. Pinch ends together then fold under.
4) Cover and let rise until doubled. (It was about an hour to an hour and a half for me)
5) Glaze with one egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp water. Sprinkle top with coarse salt, poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
6) Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes on a center rack.If you can manage it, wait until the bread is completely cool to cut it.