Braided Sesame Wreath

I re-discovered the joy of making bread.

I quit a few years ago because of too many failures in getting my bread to rise. That, along with the convenience of simply buying bread at the store, seemed to be good reasons to quit. But last year I broke a Christmas tradition – I made my own bread, but only because I could not find the brand we had used for 20 plus years. I was left with no choice but to make my own.

And I was successful! The bread was delicious and my home had that wonderful aroma of that only comes from making your own bread, which only added to the joy of a Christmas morning together.

Recently I stumbled upon a video that decried the ingredients of most commercially produced bread. There’s a lot in the mix to extend shelf life by retarding mold growth. Honestly – if the organisms that produce mold don’t want the bread, I’m not sure I want it either. And I don’t think it’s a great idea for my grandchildren to eat such products.

I recently involved Noah, my five year old grandson in making some bread. We had a good discussion about yeast – how just a little changes the entire loaf – making it rise to double in size. I then compared yeast to kindness. Bringing kindness into our circumstances changes the circumstances – for the better. As we added flour to the mix, it became time for Noah to learn how to knead bread – by putting his hands in and working with the dough over and over until it became smooth, and the yeast distributed. Likewise, we can’t just read about kindness, or agree that it is a good idea. Somehow it must become part of who we are, and that takes some work and time.

After the dough rose, we had to punch it down and re-shape it. What another life lesson! There are setbacks to life, even when we are doing everything right! We reshaped the dough into three strands, which we braided, and then shaped into a circle. After the bread rose a second time, it was time to bake. The lump of dough had to be changed in order for it to reach its full potential as something worthy to bring to the table!

Here’s the recipe:

Braided Sesame Wreath
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
10 2-inch pieces 35 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 1 hr 45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 2-inch pieces 35 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 1 hr 45 minutes
Braided Sesame Wreath
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
10 2-inch pieces 35 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 1 hr 45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 2-inch pieces 35 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 1 hr 45 minutes
Ingredients
Dough:
Topping:
Servings: 2-inch pieces
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add butter, sugar, egg, salt and 2 cups of flour. Stir until smooth. Then stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and divide into thirds. Shape each portion into a rope, about 20 inches long. Braid the three strands then make a wreath by circling the dough and joining the ends together. Cover and let rise until double, about 45 minutes.
  4. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and let cool.
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Recipe Source: Taste of Home Best Holiday Recipes, 2007

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Forest Grove, OR 97116

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