Makes 1 loaf
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons butter, melted
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast; stir well. Combine
milk and butter in a small saucepan; heat until milk is warm and butter is softened
but not melted.Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring
constantly. Add two eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2
cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together,
turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8
minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with
oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume,
about 1 hour. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide the dough into two equal size rounds; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll
each round into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the
two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring. Seal the ends of the ring
together. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place loaf on a buttered
baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Place loaf in a warm place and
let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Brush risen loaf with melted butter.
Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden.