2 tbl. dry yeast
½ cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ cups scalded milk
¼ cup (1/2 stick) soft butter or margarine
3 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
7 ¼ to 7 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbl. cold water
1/3 to ½ cup poppy seeds
Soften yeast in warm water with sugar. Stir butter and salt into hot milk and let cool to lukewarm. Mix yeast mixture, milk mixture, the 3 eggs and 3 ½ cups of the flour to make a batter, beat until smooth. Add the remaining flour a bit at a time until the dough feels right. Knead on floured board about five minutes. Place in greased bowl, let rise, punch down, let rise again. Turn out onto floured board.
Divide into two parts, divide each part into three and roll out long “snakes.” Braid the three long pieces together, repeat for the other loaf. Let rise on greased cookie sheets. When doubled, brush with the egg and water mixed together, then sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes, or until well browned. Cool on wire racks.