Triple-Seed Braid

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Triple-Seed Braid

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Published prior to 2008

This impressive-looking braid has a golden interior and seed-studded, crunchy crust.

Dough
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 cups semolina flour
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons potato flour
3 tablespoons King Arthur Easy-Roll Dough Improver
1/2 cup Harvest Grains Blend
2 tablespoons oil or butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/3 cups water

Topping
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, for glaze
3 tablespoons flax seeds
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons poppy seed

Combine all of the dough ingredients and mix and knead them together -- by hand, mixer or bread machine -- till you've made a soft, smooth dough. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for about 1 1/4 hours, or until it's puffy (though not necessarily doubled in bulk).

Place the dough on a lightly greased work surface, and knead it gently to expel some of the gas. Divide it into three equal pieces, and roll each piece into a 24-inch log.

Beat the egg with the water, and brush one log at a time with this egg wash. Sprinkle each log with one type of the seeds, rolling them to coat all sides. Let the logs "dry" for a few minutes, then braid them together. Sprinkle with any extra seeds, and place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 1 hour, or until the dough springs back very slowly when lightly pressed.

Bake the bread in a 425°F oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove it from the oven, and cool it for several hours before slicing. Yield: 1 loaf.