Serves: 1 large or 2 small loaves
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast or 1 package
  • 3 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon organic cane sugar, divided
  • 1 cup warm water, between 105-115 degrees F is ideal (use a thermometer to get the temp right)
  • 3-4 eggs, at room temperature, divided (You can use 2 whole eggs + 1 extra yolk in the bread and 1 beaten egg to brush on before baking OR you can use 2 eggs for the bread and 1 egg to brush on)*
  • ⅓ cup olive oil or avocado oil** + extra for greasing the bowl
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 4 cups organic all-purpose flour (or white bread flour, if that’s what you have)+ additional for the countertop if you're kneading it by hand
  1. Whisk together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and the warm water in a large mixing bowl. I do this whole thing in my Kitchen Aid Mixer. Let stand for 10 minutes. It should look foamy on the surface.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 of the eggs + 1 egg yolk (or just do 2 eggs) and add them plus the 3 Tablespoons of sugar, oil and salt to the yeast mixture.
  3. If you are using a Kitchen Aid, I use the paddle attachment here. Stir in 4 cups of flour, one at a time, until you achieve a sticky dough. You can switch over to the dough hook and allow the stand mixer to “knead” the dough in the bowl at medium high speed for about 4 minutes or until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Or you can turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough by hand for about 4 minutes until it is more smooth and elastic.
  4. Clean out the mixing bowl and lightly grease it with oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside until the dough doubles in volume, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. It’s best to place the bowl away from drafts or in a warm place. You can also let rise overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut into three equal pieces (if making one large loaf.) Roll the pieces out into long ropes, about 12 inches long. Braid the ropes together into a loaf and seal the ends, tucking them under slightly.
  6. Line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. You can sprinkle it with some cornmeal if you like the texture on the bottom of your bread. Transfer the loaf to the prepared sheet pan. Cover the loaf lightly with a towel and let rise until nearly doubled, about 1 hour. Don't let it rise longer or you'll lose the definition of all the strands.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  8. Beat remaining egg with 1 Tablespoon water in a small bowl (or just use egg yolk for a more golden color.) Brush on the surface of the loaf (you won’t use all the egg wash.)
  9. Set baking sheet in the middle of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when smacked lightly on the bottom. You can also check the internal temp of the bread with a thermometer and remove from the oven when it achieves 190-200 degrees F. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
*I like the extra yolk in the dough but it's not a game changer. Some people like to brush the dough with only egg yolk for a more golden color. I use a whole beaten egg and I am happy with the color. You can also take any leftover beaten egg and brush the loaf a second time about halfway through baking.
**I have used O Organic olive oil, Lucini olive oil, Napa Valley Naturals, California Olive Ranch, and Chosen Foods avocado oil with success. Don't use a strong-flavored olive oil.
Recipe by Pamela Salzman at