This traditional Polish egg bread is wonderfully light with a slightly sweet flavor.
- 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3 cups warm milk
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 12 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1Proof the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl until slightly frothy.
- 2In the meantime, dissolve 1/2 cup sugar in the warm milk; allow to cool to lukewarm. Once cooled, add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture along with 4 cups of flour. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Cover and put in a dark, warm place until the mixture is bubbly and doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- 3Stir in the beaten eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup butter, salt, and lemon peel. Stir well to blend. Begin adding the remaining flour a cup at a time to form a very soft dough.
- 4Knead the dough on a floured board until soft and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours. Punch dough down, and allow to rise again for 30 minutes.
- 5Divide dough into three parts (see Cook's Note). Shape into slightly rounded loaves, and place on greased baking sheets. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water; brush onto loaves.
- 6Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- 7Bake in preheated oven until loaves are deep brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Once they are done, brush the tops with melted butter for a soft crust.
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