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Egg bread is versatile and satisfying

- Associated Press - Thursday, October 18, 2012

When baking season brings thoughts of savory loaves of bread hot from the oven, we often overlook egg breads. But these rich, moist -- and yes, eggy -- loaves deserve serious consideration. They are satisfying in a way we typically associate with quick sweet breads, yet are versatile enough to accompany dinner and make delicious sandwiches.

For this recipe, we studded a basic egg bread with four varieties of seeds -- sesame, sunflower, poppy and pumpkin. The seeds add a satisfying crunch without detracting from the moist crumb of the bread. If you'd rather leave out the seeds, that's fine, too.

FOUR-SEED EGG BREAD

Start to finish: 3 hours

Servings: 16

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon toasted sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas)

¼-ounce packet instant yeast

½ cup warm milk

½ cup warm water

4 egg yolks

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

¼ cup honey

1 tablespoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds and yeast. Stir in the milk and water, then add the egg yolks and mix well. Add the flour, sesame oil, vegetable oil, honey and salt.

Knead, either by hand or with a dough hook on an electric mixer on low speed, for 8 to 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 to 1½ hours, or until doubled in bulk. Meanwhile, coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter. Fold the dough over itself, then work into a ball. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Cover the bread with plastic wrap and allow to rise again for 1 hour, or until risen and puffy.

Toward the end of the rising time, heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Using a paring knife, cut 2 deep slashes in the top of the loaf. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until deep golden and cooked through. Transfer to a rack to cool.

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