Easter Egg Bread
1/2 cup sugar
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups whole milk
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
4 large eggs
3 to 6 hard-cooked large eggs, unpeeled
Assorted food coloring
2 tablespoons water
In a large bowl, mix sugar, yeast, cardamom, salt and 2 cups flour. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Add 3 eggs; beat on high 2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, dye hard-boiled eggs with food coloring following package directions. Let stand until completely dry. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Roll each portion into a 24-in. rope. Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid. Bring ends together to form a ring. Pinch ends to seal. Lightly coat dyed eggs with oil; arrange on braid, tucking them carefully between ropes.
Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°. In a bowl, whisk remaining egg and water; gently brush over dough, avoiding eggs. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate leftovers. Makes 1 loaf (16 slices).