This bread is quite aromatic with a hint of sweetness and an almond crunch. Lavender is considered to have aromatherapy properties and a calming effect. This bread goes quite well with a rich, warm cup of tea.
Makes 2 Loaves
5 to 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
2 envelopes Fleischmann’s RapidRise Yeast
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
8 drops lavender essential oil, divided (optional)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon dry lavender blossoms
In large bowl of electric mixer, combine 2-1/2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt. Heat water, milk, honey, and butter until very warm (120° F to 130° F). Stir in 3 to 4 drops lavender oil. Stir into dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Add another 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scaping bowl occasionally.
Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, 6 to 8 minutes. Pat out dough, sprinkle with almonds and knead in almonds. Cover; let rest on floured surface 10 minutes.
Divide dough in half and shape into a hearth braid. To shape braid, divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each to a 1-inch diameter rope; braid 3 ropes together and pinch ends to seal. Lift onto greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining half of dough. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Bake 25 minutes or until done. Remove from baking sheet; let cool completely on wire racks.
If desired, prepare Topping. Warm honey until it thins; add 1 to 2 drops lavender oil. Brush over braid and sprinkle with lavender blossoms.
Serving Size 1 Slice (55g)
Servings Per Container About 24
Calories from Fat 25
Total Fat 2.5g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Total Carbohydrate 25g
Dietary Fiber 1g