4 1/2cupsall-purpose flour(plus extra for kneading)
For Brushing Bread:
1largeegg(to brush on top of bread)
Warm the milk in a bowl in the microwave for just about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until it is warm. Add in the sugar and salt, then stir the mixture. Allow it to sit until it is warm, but not too hot (if you have a thermometer, it should measure about 105-110 degrees in order to proof active dry yeast). Add 1 package of yeast right to this milk. Allow the yeast to proof for about 5 minutes. It should get nice and frothy.
Add the softened (almost meltebutter and the eggs. Stir this well until it is all blended together.
Gradually add in the flour,1 cup at a time. Add in the last 1/2 a cup and start to knead the dough with your hands until the last 1/2 cup of flour is incorporated in. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and continue to knead the bread for about 7 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Add a bit more flour as you need to during kneading. The dough should still feel sticky, but it will not stick to your hands. During needing, I added less than 1/4 cup of additional flour. If you add too much flour, your bread will be dry.
Place this dough in a greased bowl and cover it. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it has doubled, about 1 hour.
To make the braids, split the dough into two balls, then split each ball into three pieces. Roll those 3 pieces out into a snake about 12" long. Braid the three ropes together and tuck/pinch the ends so that the braid does not come undone. Place each braid on a greased baking sheet.
Beat the remaining egg and brush the tops of the loaves with this. This is what gives the bread such a lovely golden color! Allow the dough to rise for another 1/2 an hour, then bake the bread dough for 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.