You can do it, too. Every New Year’s Day I bake some fresh bread from scratch. No bread machines or tricks, just solid ingredients and a lot of kneading.
It’s delicious and here’s how to do it: 4 cups water @ 105-115 deg
1 1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
1 pkg dry yeast
2 eggs, beaten
8 cups flour (bread flour)
1 Cooking thermometer that can show 105 to 115 degrees.
Activate yeast in 1 cup of the hot water with a pinch of sugar for 5 minutes until foaming. Mix activated yeast with everything else except flour in a mixing bowl. Add flour gradually, stirring constantly. Knead dough until elastic (10 min). Leave covered in bowl to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch down and divide in half. FOR EACH HALF: divide into 3 pieces and roll into 3 long “ropes”. Braid together. Bake on greased/floured sheet at 375 until golden brown (30 min). Optional: brush with egg yoke & sprinkle with poppy seed before baking. I don’t do this optional last step, so the crust isn’t as brown. But I prefer it that way. Serve hot out of the oven with melted butter.