- 510g [4 cups] bread flour
- 35g [2.5 Tbsp] granulated white sugar
- 8g [1.25 tsp] salt
- 5g [1.5 tsp] instant yeast
- 35g [2.5 Tbsp] vegetable oil
- 5 eggs (divided)
- 198g (3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp) room temperature water
Total time: ~4.5 hrs
Separate 4 of the egg yolks from the whites. Reserve the whites separately, we will use some (but not all) for an egg wash. Combine the 4 egg yolks, along with the additional whole egg, in a small bowl and whisk lightly. Add in oil and water to the egg mixture and whisk.
Mix flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl (electric mixer if you have it). Mix in the egg/oil/water mixture until combined. Mix on medium-low speed with a dough hook 6-8 min (or knead by hand for 10-12 min). If using mixer, then transfer to counter and knead by hand for 3 additional minutes. Dough should be elastic and hold its shape, but be slightly tacky on the outside.
Lightly oil a large bowl. Form dough into a boule and and transfer to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hr.
Remove dough from bowl, knead lightly for 2 minutes to degas, then return to bowl to rise for an additional hour. Should be at least 1.5x the original size.
Remove dough from bowl, transfer to floured counter, and split in to three equal pieces. Roll each into a long strand about 1-inch diameter, equal length. Lay the pieces parallel to each other on a wax paper’d baking sheet, and braid by repeatedly crossing the outside strand to the inside (look up a video). If you’re really fancy, start in the middle and braid to the outside, reversing the pattern in the opposite direction.
Mist the braided loaf with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for another 1 hr until grown to 1.5x the size. Preheat oven to 350F.
Use the reserved egg whites to egg wash the loaf. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate and bake for about another 15 min. Bread is done which it is a rich golden brown color on top; might take as much as 20 min more.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for ~1 hr before serving. Strongly consider eating with apple butter or as french toast.