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Stump City Red Braid

A whole wheat egg braid made with Stump City Brewery Red Ale and red winter wheat berries. Made in celebration of the Stump City Brewery in Gloversville, New York. 

Prep Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 1 very large loaf
Author Mark Oppenneer

Ingredients

  • 2 scant tablespoons (or 2 ¼-ounce packages) active dry yeast
  • 2 cups Stump City Brewery Red Ale heated to about 110 degrees
  • ½ cup dark rye flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour *
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 6½-7½ cups unbleached flour approximately
  • EGG WASH - one large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir the yeast into the ale to soften.
  2. Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add softened yeast, and the rye flour, whole wheat flour, and 1½ cups of the unbleached flour. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. This is a sponge which has the consistency of a pancake batter rather than a bread dough. Cover the sponge with plastic wrap and a tightly woven towel. Let rise for 30 minutes. It should be light and full of tiny bubbles.
  3. Stir the sponge to deflate it, add salt and flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.
  4. Knead, adding flour a little at a time, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.
  5. Put the dough into an oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide into thirds. Shape each third into a rope 20 inches long. Lay the ropes side-by-side on a well-seasoned baking sheet. Begin braiding in the center of the loaf for a more balanced braid.
  7. Place the right rope over the center rope, then the left rope over the center, the right over the center, left over the center, etc., continuing until the ropes are too short to braid. Pinch all three ends together and tuck them under.
  8. To braid the other end of the loaf, turn it so the braided portion is at the top and the ropes are at the bottom. Place the center rope over the right rope, then center rope over the left, center over the right, center over the left, etc., until the ends are too short to braid. Pinch all three ends together and tuck them under.
  9. Cover with a towel and let rise 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  11. Just before baking, brush the egg wash lightly over the braid. Always start at the top then brush the sides of the loaf. If you start on the sides, the glaze runs towards the pan and leaves an unsightly ring around the edge of your loaf.
  12. Bake for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the braid reaches 190 degrees.
  13. Immediately remove from the baking sheet and cool on a rack to prevent the crust from becoming soggy.

Recipe Notes

* I used rough milled red winter wheat berries. Regular old whole wheat flour will work just fine.