1-1/2 pound recipe for use in a bread machine
3/4 cup 110* water
3 Tablespoons butter, cubed
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
3 cups bread flour (I have not attempted with all purpose)
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon water
Add water, egg, butter, salt, flour, sugar and yeast to bread machine. Select dough cycle. Let it start its cycle and if it's dry add a little water and if its sticky add a little flour. When the dough is done remove from machine to a surface that has little flour on it. This bread can be made a couple ways. You can either make two braids, one to sit on top of the other or just one as I have done here. Both are pretty.
If doing two braids: Divide dough into two pieces. One about 1/3 of the dough and the other 2/3 of the dough. Divide each of those into 10" and 12" ropes respectively. Braid and and then lay the smaller braid on top of the other braid.
I do one braid. I am going to cut it up anyway or just eat it so I don't care if it's all fancy. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces and roll out the diagonal length of the greased jelly roll pan.
Braid. To make it easier, pinch the starting end so it doesn't flop around. I braid under, twisting my hand to the outside so mine looks like this. Your braid will most likely look different since most people braid inward. Pinch the last end together and tuck under a little to make it look nicer if you want.
Cover and let rise until almost double in size. I usually wait about 25 minutes. Brush with egg yolk mixed with the water. This will make it glossy and brown when it bakes.
Bake at 375* for 25 to 30 minutes covering with foil after 15 minutes to prevent too much browning.
I can never wait until it's cool to eat so use a serrated knife to cut and slather in butter.