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© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
(2 loaves or 32 rolls)
In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup warm water, yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture begins to bubble.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together 2 cups all-purpose flour, the remaining sugar and salt. Add the remaining 2 1/4 cups warm water, the yeast mixture, oil, whole egg and egg white. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in whole wheat flour and as much of the remaining all-purpose flour as you can.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Cover dough and let rest for 10 minutes; knead for 2 minutes more. Cover dough and let rest again for 10 minutes; knead for 2 minutes. Coat a very large bowl with cooking spray; add dough and coat top of dough with cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).
Punch down dough; cover and let rise a second time for 45 minutes. Punch down dough; divide into two portions. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide each portion into three ropes (if making loaves) or 32 pieces (if making rolls). For loaves, coat a very large baking sheet with cooking spray. On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough portion into a 14-inch-long rope. Place ropes on the prepared baking sheet. Using three ropes for each loaf, braid ropes into two loaves. Be sure braids are at least 5 inches apart. For rolls, coat two 13x9x2-inch baking pans with cooking spray; shape dough portions into rolls and place 16 rolls in each pan.
Cover loaves or rolls and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (30 to 45 minutes). Preheat oven to 425°F.
In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water; brush atop loaves or rolls. Sprinkle with poppy seeds (sesame seeds and/or oats).
Bake loaves for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. (For rolls, bake at 425°F about 15 minutes or until roll tops sound hollow when tapped. Do not reduce oven temperature.) Remove from baking sheets or pans and cool on wire racks.