From my story, “Mother of All Breads”
4 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour
¼ cup sugar
1 envelope Active Dry Yeast (approx 2 ¼ tsp)
2 ½ tsp salt
1 cup lukewarm water
3 extra large eggs
2 egg yolks
¼ cup canola oil
2 eggs, whisked (for wash)
(Optional: 1 tsp saffron)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the eggs, oil, and water (and saffron if using it) and mix on medium low until the dough begins to come together.
When the dough has pulled together reduce the speed of the mixer to low and knead the dough for 5 minutes. The dough will be soft and slightly sticky.
Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and set covered in a warm place to rise for one hour. (The dough should approximately double in size.)
Gently fold the dough over to deflate it, recover, and set it aside to rise for one more hour.
If braiding, divide into three pieces (for one loaf) or six pieces (for two loaves.) For round loaves or pan loaves divide into two pieces. Shape each piece into cylinders approximately one foot long. Braid into loaves, twist into round loaves, or place into loaf pans. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan or cookie sheet, cover and allow to double in size, 45 minutes to one hour.
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Thoroughly brush the outside of the loaves with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes (depending on the size of the loaf). Loaf will be dark brown and sound hollow when tapped with the back of your finger.
Cool completely on a rack before slicing.
(If baking more than one loaf at a time, space the loaves far enough apart to allow for rising.)