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Traditional Baking Finalist
Italian Parmesan Bread

Anita Allen, Burlington

2 packages active dry yeast
2 cups water (l10°-115°F)
6 ½ - 7 cups Hudson Cream short patent unbleached flour, divided
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
2 Dillon's eggs
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons Carey salt
1 tablespoon dehydrated minced onions
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, less l tablespoon, reserved
Melted butter or margarine

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add 4 cups flour, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, onion, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Beat on low speed 30 seconds; increase speed to medium, beat 2 minutes.

Stir in cheese and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead by hand or with dough hook 10 to 15 minutes. Dough will be soft, but avoid adding extra flour. Cover bowl; let rise in a warm (80°F) place until double. Punch down dough.

Knead on a lightly oiled board about 25 times; dough will be soft. Divide in half. Cover; let rest 15 minutes.

To make braids: Divide each half into 3 pieces and roll into 14-inch ropes. Place three ropes on greased 15 ½ x 12-inch sheet and braid.

Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with reserved cheese. Cover, let rise until double.

Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.

Nutrient Analysis. One 2-ounce portion provides 135 calories, 4 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, l g dietary fiber, 4 g fat, 14 mg cholesterol, 45 mg calcium, 44 mg potassium, and 209 mg sodium