Make sure to read the instructions all the way through before starting. You can knead this by hand or by machine. The concept is the same.
This makes 2 good-sized loaves, or you can make 1 really large loaf.
Add all ingredients to your mixing bowl fitted with a dough hook. Start with 3 cups of all-purpose flour. If you need more, we can add it after it has mixed for a while.
Start mixing on medium speed. After about 1 minute, check the consistency of the dough. I should feel just slightly "tacky" (sticky). If you need to add in more flour, start with ¼-1/3 cup. Let it mix another minute and check again. It should be starting to pull away from the sides of the bowl just slightly.
Let this mix on medium speed for 6 minutes.
Cover and let this double in a warm place. Mine took about an hour. It will depend on the temperature and humidity in your house.
Once it rises, it is time to shape. I formed my 2 loaves into 7 strand braids. You can form your loaves however you like.
Place them on 2 baking sheets. I like to line mine with parchment paper. If you don't make sure and spray or butter your pan to keep the bread from sticking.
Cover the loaves and again allow them to double. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix your egg wash and brush the loaves with the egg wash. Make sure to brush in all the nooks and crannies, this is important with braids. But, don't add too much egg wash. You don't want scrambled eggs on your bread. :)
Move the loaves to your preheated oven and bake until the loaves are a deep golden brown color.
Remove from the oven. You can eat them while they are hot, let them cool slightly, or wait until they have cooled all the way. I promise they are delicious no matter how you eat it!
Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it.