Mary Frances Scheetz lived in Canfield, Ohio, for 25 years before retiring to Florida. Before leaving her hometown, she won many blue ribbons for her breads. This herb-scented bread makes a delicious accompaniment to almost any meal. You might want to vary the herbs to complement your main dish: basil and oregano to go with Italian dishes, dill and rosemary to accompany fish. Mary Frances Scheetz, Fort Myers, Florida Canfield Fair, Canfield, Ohio
5-1/2 to 6-1/2 cups flour, divided
2 packages (2 tablespoons) dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves, crushed
1-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2 whole eggs
1 egg, separated
1-1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon wheat germ, divided
In a large mixer bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, thyme, and marjoram; mix well. In a saucepan, heat the milk, water, and butter until warm (the butter does not have to melt). Add to the flour mixture along with the 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk. Beat for 3 minutes. Gradually stir in 1-1/3 cups of the wheat germ and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch the dough down and divide into quarters. Form each part into a rope and twist 2 together to make a loaf. Fold the ends in and place in a greased loaf pan (either 9x5-inch or 8-1/2x4-1/2-inch). Repeat with the other 2 pieces of dough. Cover and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly brush the dough with the egg white and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon wheat germ. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Loosely cover with aluminum foil for the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking. Remove from the pans and cool on wire racks.