Photo: Wheat Sheaf.
Ingredient List
For the Dough:
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ cup lukewarm water (110°F-115°F)
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening or butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
  • 7 ½ -7 ¾ cups all-purpose flour or bread flour OR 4 cups whole wheat flour plus 3 1/4-3 1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour
Instructions
For the Dough
  • In small bowl, dissolve yeast in lukewarm water, stirring in ½ teaspoon sugar. Let stand 5 minutes.

  • In mixer bowl, beat shortening with ½ cup sugar; add egg, salt, cooled milk, and dissolved yeast.

  • Stir in flour a little at a time until dough is stiff enough to knead. Knead by hand or with dough hook 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl; cover and let rise until doubled.

  • Punch down dough. Shape as desired.

    Note: Dough may be kept covered in refrigerator for several days and used when needed.

Shaping the Wheat Sheaf
  • Divide 1½ pounds of dough into 18 equal pieces. Roll out 8 (18″ ropes) and 8 (15″ ropes); cover. Tip: to roll dough evenly into a rope, start at the center and work toward the ends. On greased 12″ x 18″ baking sheet, place one 18″ rope lengthwise in center. Bend top to the left. Place a second 18″ rope beside the first rope, bending top to right. Repeat procedure.

  • Place one 15″ rope on each side bending top. Place remaining 15″ ropes on top of bottom layer, placing ropes to cover the space between bottom ropes.

  • Roll two pieces into thin ropes. Twist together and place across center, extending 1″ past sheaf. Cut off extra; pinch ends together and tuck under sheaf.

  • Cover; let rise 15-20 minutes. With scissors, make diagonal snips along bent “heads”. Beat 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water; brush on sheaf. Bake at 350°F, 20-25 minutes or until golden. If outer edges bake faster, tent with aluminum foil. Note: If you wish to use the sheaf for decoration, place it on a wire rack and let dry for several days.

  • Wheat sheaf fall decoration, made from bread dough | eatwheat.org

    You might also enjoy these fall bread shapes from NationalFestivalofBreads.com:

    Looking for additional fall decorations? Check out this Rustic Fall Wreath or this Wheat Centerpiece.

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