Total Calories: 1,868
Combine butter or margarine, sugar and salt with boiling water, stirring well cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water let set until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Separate 1 egg, reserving yolk add egg white, remaining 3 eggs and yeast to butter or margarine. Gradually stir in 4 cups flour, blend ing well. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time to form a soft dough. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Knead on a lightly-floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl turn dough to coat surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled, 60 to 90 minutes. Punch down dough divide into two large or three medium portions. Divide each of these into three equal portions. Roll each piece into a rope about 15 inches long (12 inches long for medium loaf). For first loaf, place the three ropes parallel to one another on a greased baking sheet. Starting from the middle, braid to one end repeat with the opposite half, pinching and tucking under ends Repeat with remaining dough. Mix reserved egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water until well blended brush tops of braids with mixure and sprinkle with poppy seed. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until nearly doubled, about 1 hour. Bake in a preheated 375° F oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from sheets cool on wire racks.
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