- 1 cup warm water (105º-115º F)
- 2 envelopes active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 eggs, 1 divided
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon water
Stir warm water, yeast and sugar, together in a small mixing bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Mixture will foam. Whisk together 3 eggs, 1 egg white (reserve yolk), oil, salt and cinnamon, in a large mixing bowl. Stir in yeast mixture and 5-1/4 cups flour until soft dough forms. Add dried cranberries and with floured hands, knead dough. Gradually add remaining 3/4 cup flour, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Lightly grease a large mixing bowl. Place dough in bowl and roll around so that it is lightly coated with grease. Place bowl with dough in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Punch down dough; divide in half. Each half will make one braided loaf.
To make a single braid: divide half into 3 equal pieces. Roll each into 14-inch rope. Braid dough and pinch ends to seal. Place on greased baking sheet. Repeat steps with remaining dough.
Cover shaped loaves and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Beat reserved yolk with water; brush loaves. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Place foil on tops of loaves if tops brown to quickly. Remove loaves to wire rack and cool completely.
Makes 2 loaves.
Hint: To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap and place in a sealed freezer storage bag.