It’s a lot of work, but the results will get you such compliments! This recipe makes 2 large loaves. Hey, if you’re going to that much trouble, might as well make two.
2 cups sugar
1½ cups milk
1 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup warm water
3 (1/4 oz. envelopes) active dry yeast
1 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. sugar
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
9 cups flour
6 hard-boiled eggs, unshelled
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. sesame seeds
Step 1: Combine sugar, milk and butter in a large saucepan; cook over medium heat until butter melts. Cool to 105-115 degrees.
Step 2: Combine yeast, flour, sugar and water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 6 lightly beaten eggs. Gradually add 9 cups flour alternately with milk mixture, stirring well.
Step 3: Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, for one hour.
Punch dough down, and divide into 6 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 2½ foot-long rope. Pinch 3 ropes together at one end to seal and braid the ropes. Place braid on a lightly greased baking sheet, and shape into a circle. Place 3 hard-boiled eggs down the center where the braids meet. Press down lightly and shape dough around the eggs. Repeat procedure with the other 3 ropes of dough. Cover braids, and let rise in a warm place, away from drafts, for 30 minutes.
Brush bread with one beaten egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully replace the hard-boiled eggs with decorated Easter eggs.