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CHEDDAR BRAIDS

Category:    Bread, Cheese, Yeast bread
Yield:8 servings
 
      1 c  Water; Warm, 110-115 Deg. F.        1 pk Active Dry Yeast; OR
      1 tb Active Dry Yeast; Bulk          3 1/2 c  Unbleached Flour; *
      1 ts Sugar                           1 1/2 ts Salt
    3/4 c  Butter; Room Temperature            4    Eggs; Lg, Room Temperature
      6 oz Cheddar; Extra Sharp, Diced         1    Egg; Lg
      1 tb Milk                                2 tb Celery Seeds
 
  *    You can use up to 4 1/2 cups of flour in this recipe depending on the
       weather.
  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
  Pour the warm water into a warm bowl and add the yeast.  Stir to dissolve
  then let stand until light and puffed, about 5 minutes.  Add 1 1/2 cups of
  the flour, sugar and salt.  Beat with an electric mixer on the lowest speed
  for 1 minute.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes longer.  Add the butter
  to the yeast mixture and beat for another 1 minute.  On the lowest speed on
  the mixer, beat in 1 egg and 1/2 cup of flour until well blended, repeating
  until the 4 eggs are used up and enough flour has been added to make a soft
  sticky dough.  Continue to beat with the mixer or by hand, until the dough
  is glossy and elastic and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Stir in the
  cheddar cheese by hand.  Cover and let rise in a warm place free from
  drafts until doubled in bulk, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. When the dough has
  doubled in bulk, punch down and place in the refrigerator for at least 5
  hours or better, overnight.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Divide
  in half and cover and refrigerate the second ball of dough. Knead the
  remaining ball of dough on a lightly floured surface until soft and
  pliable.  Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and roll each piece into a
  rope 12 to 16-inches long.  Braid the ropes, starting in the middle and
  working toward each end.  Pinch the ends together so seal them. Grease a
  large baking sheet and place the finished braid on one side of the sheet.
  Repeat with the refrigerated dough.  In a small bowl beat the egg and milk
  together.  Brush the braids with the egg mixture and let the braids rise in
  a warm place, free from drafts, until dough in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2
  hours.  Do not cover.  Midway through the rising time, brush with the egg
  mixture again.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. When fully risen, brush
  with the egg mixture for a final time and sprinkle evenly with the celery
  seeds.  Bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven until a wooden skewer or
  pick inserted in the braid comes out dry. Remove from the oven and from the
  baking sheet.  Cool to room temperature, on wire racks, before slicing.
 

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