In a 2 c measure, mix the warm water & milk. Stir in sugar. Sprinkle on yeast and stir to dissolve. Set aside until foamy (5-10min)
Place in bowl: 3c flour, salt, sugar & butter cut into several pieces. Combine well. Pour in yeast mixture and blend well. Add eggs one at a time and blend well after each addition.
Turn dough onto floured board & knead 5-8 min or until smooth & elastic. If additional flour is needed, knead in 2 tbls at a time. Form dough into a ball & place in well-greased bowl, turning to coat all surfaces. Cover w plastic wrap and put in a warm (80 degrees) draft-free place to rise until doubled (1 1/2 hours).
Punch down dough and turn out onto floured board. Divide into equal pieces & knead each piece a few times. Cover and let rest 10 mins. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Roll each piece into a rope 15 inches long. Place the ropes side by side on the baking sheet. Starting at one end, loosely braid and pinch ends together. Cover lightly with waxed paper and let rise until doubled about 45m-1hr.
Brush the loaf w the egg wash, taking care not to let any drip one the baking sheet. Sprinkle w decorating sugar. Place in the center of a preheated oven and bake 50-60mins. Loaf will be a beautiful golden shade and sound hollow if thumped on the bottom. Place on rack to cool.
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