This is a yummy bread and easy to make. It look wonderful when it comes out of the oven, as you can see. Makes a great presentation also. You could make this into a regular loaf or rolls so it's also very versatile. Oh yeah makes a great sandwich too.
2 pkgs (4½ tsp) active dry yeast
1¼ cups warm water (110° to 115°)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
4½ to 5 cups flour
1 egg yolk
1 Tbl cold water
1 Tbl sesame seeds
In large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil, sugar, salt,
eggs, and 3 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in
enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
Knead until smooth and elastic. Place in bowl coated with cooking spray,
turning once to coat top. Cover and let rise in warm place until
doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, divide into
six equal pieces. Shape each portion into a 20-in. rope. Place all six
ropes parallel to each other on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This makes two long loaves.
Working with three ropes side-by-side, start braid at center of loaf,
yes, center. Place right rope over center rope, left rope over center
to the end, pinch ends together and tuck under. Turn baking sheet
around to work other side so unbraided ropes face you. This side place
center rope over right rope, then center rope over left rope, continue
to the end, pinch ends together and tuck under.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Beat egg yolk
and cold water; brush over braids. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at
350° 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire
rack to cool.