Amy, the wonderful photographer of Household, is contributing this recipe which was originally found in Sift Magazine. This type of bread was consumed each weekend with her host family while living abroad in Switzerland years ago and still holds a special place in her heart. The family would either pick it up at the local market at the start of each weekend, or make it at home and eat it with butter and jam. In my opinion this is the definition of simple, delicious, comfort food. Amy baked this by hand on our last recipe day as we made wreaths and cider, worked, and spent time with some pals. I'd love to hear some of your favorite recipes that have been passed down in one way or another. Wether they are from your own family, a host family, or a close friend. Food is so where so many of my personal traditions stem from, and I imagine where O's will stem from as he grows older. Enjoy this one! Recipe and instructions below. Thanks for sharing Amy!
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
2 large eggs (reserve one yolk for glaze)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 1/4 cups unbleached flour
1 large egg yolk (from above)
1 tablespoon water
Place the sour cream in a large mixing bowl. Melt the butter and stir it into the sour cream. Stir in the yeast, egg plus white, and salt. Add the flour a cup at a time, holding a 1/2 cup in reserve, and mix until a shaggy dough comes together.
Knead the dough - by hand, electric mixer, food processor, or bread machine-until it's smooth and elastic, adding the remaining flour, if needed. Place it in a greased bowl, cover, and set the dough aside to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it's doubled in bulk.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface and knead it gently a few times. Divide into three equal pieces, and roll each piece into a 18" log. Braid the logs together, pinching them at both ends and tucking the pinched ends under. Place the braid on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover it, and allow it to rise for 45 to 50 minutes.
Whisk the egg yolk and water together, and use to brush the braid. Bake the bread in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until it's golden brown and shiny. Remove it from the oven and let it cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a rack to cool completely.
Photography by Amy Frances.