Introduction: AlphaBread

A white wheat, black sesame braided bread in the shape of an "i" including a roll for the jot of the "i".  Hearty and easy to make with simple ingredients usually on hand.

Amounts and Ingredients  

2 cups milk-
can be 2% or whole milk 
1/4 cup water lukewarm water 
1 tsp raw or regular granulated sugar plus 3 tsp more
1 tbs salt
3 tbs unsalted butter
1 package dry yeast
1 cup old fashioned oats or muesli
4-4 1/2 unbleached white whole wheat flour
1 egg yolk
Black sesame seeds

Step 1:

Warm the 1/4 cup of water and dissolve the tsp of sugar then add the package of yeast. Just make sure the water is not too warm otherwise the yeast will be destroyed, and the bread will not rise. It will start to proof in a few minutes. You will know because it starts to foam like the head on beer.

Heat the milk to right before the scalding point, then add the butter, salt and remaining sugar. Let cool to warm and then add the yeast mixture. Next add the oats and flour, stirring until it forms a ball. In this loaf I also added approximately a tsp of black sesame seeds to the dough for continuity of the exterior. Feel free to be creative and try variations. Turn it out onto a floured board and knead it for about 10 minutes. Shape it into a ball, place it into an oiled bowl, cover and let it rise for an hour until it doubles in size.

Step 2:

After an hour knead the bread again for a few minutes and divide it first by pulling a ball for the jot of the lower case "i". then into 3 equal sections. Shape them into long round noodles, then braid together. Remember that they will double in size again, so thinner is better. Place them on a buttered or oiled pan, cover, and allow to rise for about 45 minutes.

Step 3:

Separate the egg and beat the yolk and apply it with a basting brush or spoon to the top of the bread. Sprinkle generously with black sesame seeds. Regular sesame seeds or poppy seeds may be used instead.

Step 4:

In a 350 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven, bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

Remove from oven carefully, let cool on a rack, place your "i" or any letter of the AlphaBread you would like on the table,slice thin, and ENJOY!

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