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Swiss Potato Braid
2 pkg Active Dry Yeast
1/2 c warm water, 100-110 degrees
1 c skim milk
1/4 c margarine
2 medium sized potatoes, cooked and mashed (1 cup)
1 1/2 c potato water
3 tbs sugar
2 tsp salt
2 c bread flour
1 egg
3 1/2 to 4 c all-purpose flour
1 c shredded Swiss cheese
solid shortening to coat 1 large bowl and three 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans
1 egg yolk, blended with 2 tablespoons water (for glaze, optional)
poppy seeds (optional)

Add yeast to warm water and let stand 10 minutes. In a large measuring cup or in a medium-sized saucepan, heat milk and margarine, to 135 degrees. (1 1/2 minutes in a microwave and 4 minutes in a saucepan on medium heat). Pour this liquid into a blender and add mashed potatoes, potato water, sugar and salt. Blend for 30 seconds. Pour into a large mixing bowl and add White Flour and mix well (you may use a mixer). Now add the egg and softened yeast and blend by hand. Add naturally white flour to make a soft dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and satiny, 10 minutes by hand, or 4 minutes in an electric mixer or food processor fitted with dough hook. Put dough in greased bowl, turning to coat thoroughly. Cover with damp towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 1 hour. Knead down. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Divide into 6 equal portions and let rest for 10 minutes. Grease two, 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans. Roll each portion into a long rectangle, 16 x 4 inches, and sprinkle with 1/3 cup shredded cheese. Roll up rectangle to form a rope. Roll out the remaining portions and repeat. Take 3 ropes and braid together, being careful not to stretch dough. Place in a prepared loaf pan. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled about 1 hour. Brush with egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with poppy seeds, if desired. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on racks.
Recipe featured in Bread Daily on 01/20/02.