3/4 Cup Warm Water (110 degrees)
2-1/2 TSP Active Dry Yeast
2 TSP Sugar
2 TBS Vegetable Oil
2 Eggs (room temperature)
1 TSP Salt
3 TBS melted butter (do not use margarine. Make sure it's butter in the squares)
2 TBS Sugar
3-1/2 Cups Sifted All Purpose Flour (Make sure to sift it prior to measuring it or you will get too much flour)
In your mixing bowl add your warm water and 2 TSP sugar. Stir until well blended. Add yeast and stir to blend. Let this sit for about 10 minutes until it's very frothy/foamy.
When your yeast is ready, add your eggs and butter and stir to combine. Add your salt and 2 TBS sugar and stir to combine.
Put your dough hook on your mixer and add 1 cup of flour. Turn on until blended. Finish adding your flour 1 cup at a time. Knead for 5 minutes.
Take your dough out of the mixer and finish kneading if needed until it is smooth.
Place your dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a towel and set in a draft free area to rise. It will take about 1-1/2 hours. It needs to be double in size.
When it's ready, punch down the dough and dived it into 6 even strips. I use a scale and measured it to 4.0 ounces each. I was left with a little extra and I used that to make a large knot roll.
Roll each piece into a ball and cover with plastic. You need to let dough rest for about 3-4 minutes in-between each of these steps to help the gluten relax so you can work with the dough.
Take each ball and roll it out. If it is shrinking back after you stop rolling it out, you will need to let it rest a little longer.
You should make 6 long strips that are about 16" each. Make sure they are all the same size.
For making the braid. I am not able to explain that without confusing you so instead I'm going to provide the link to a YouTube video that I followed to make the braid. You can find the video here.
When you're done braiding, put it in a pan and let it rise for about 1 more hour. It needs to double in size. (About 1/2 hour into this step make sure to turn your oven on to 350 degrees F so it will be ready and warm when you're ready)
When it's ready, use an egg wash (it is an egg well beaten) and cover the dough all around, sides, and tops.
Top with Sesame Seeds or Poppy Seeds (optional) or leave plain if you'd rather.
Place in preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes.
Take out of oven and immediately brush with butter on all sides and tops (this will help get a softer crust).