The traditional loaf gets an autumnal upgrade with cranberries.
Note: I found this tutorial from The Shiksa in the Kitchen to be very helpful with creating a 6 strand braid and have used her method here.
About the author: Carrie Vasios Mullins is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios
- Yield:makes 1 loaf
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:3 hours 30 minutes
- 1 1/4-ounce (7 gram) package active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup plus 3 teaspoons sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
In a small bowl, combine yeast with 1 cup warm water and 2 teaspoons sugar; let stand 5 minutes until bubbling.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together vegetable oil, 2 eggs, salt, and remaining sugar. Add in yeast mixture. Add flour and stir until just comes together. Attach dough hook and knead dough on medium speed until shiny and elastic, about 10 minutes. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl and cover with a dish towel. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough and let rest for another 1/2 hour.
Knead in cranberries. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into an approximately 12-inch strand. Lay strands parallel to each other on a baking sheet. Press one end of strands together. Take the strand furthest to the right and weave it towards the left through the other strands using this pattern: over 2 strands, under 1 strand, over 2 strands. (See note) Repeat again, always starting with the farthest right strand, until strands are all braided. Tuck leftover ends together. Let rest for 1 hour.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Beat remaining egg with 1 teaspoon water. Brush loaf all over with egg wash. Bake bread, until golden, about 35 minutes.