- 1 cup milk
- 4 ½ to 5 ½ cups flour, divided
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons yeast
- 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup softened butter
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 – 5 dyed eggs
Heat milk and add yeast and sugar. Let stand until frothy.
Whisk in 1 ½ cups of the flour. Leave the mixture in a warm, draft-free place until bubbly (approximately ½ hour).
Next, add eggs one at a time to the mixture. Incorporate them well.
Add another 1 cup of flour, orange zest and salt, and again incorporate well.
Add softened butter, vanilla, and orange juice. Mix well then gradually add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft sticky dough, kneading until smooth.
Grease a bowl and place dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow it to rise in a clean, draft-free place, until doubles in size (approximately 1 ½ hours).
Pre-heat oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Divide the dough into thirds, roll each third into a long rope then braid those ropes, then twist the whole braid into a ring. Tuck the dyed eggs, wide or heavy side down, between the strands of the braid, at even intervals around the circle.
Place the bread on the baking sheet.
Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water, brush loaves with egg mixture and bake for 15 minutes.
Lower heat to 350°F and bake for about 20 minutes more or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.