Total Calories: 1,858
* In a small saucepan, combine milk, butter or margarine, 1/4 cup sugar and salt heat and stir until sugar dissolves and butter or margarine melts. Cool to warm, about 120° F. In warm water, dissolve yeast and a pinch of sugar until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. In a large mixer bowl, combine milk mixture, yeast mixture, 2 eggs and 3 cups flour beat at low speed until smooth. Gradually add 3 more cups flour, mixing by hand until mixture forms a stiff dough. Turn out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.
Place in a greased bowl turn dough to coat surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until dough is almost doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough, place on lightly-floured surface and knead 1 minute.
Divide dough in half with a sharp knife cover one half with an overturned bowl and set aside. Cut other half of dough into three equal portions and roll each into a 28-inch long rope. Place the three ropes side by side and loosely braid.
Place a greased ovenproof custard cup upside down on a large greased baking sheet. Gently lift braided dough to baking sheet and form wreath around cup, (to help maintain a good circle shape), overlapping and pinching ends together. Repeat braiding with reserved portion of dough. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts until almost doubled, about 30 to 45 minutes. Just before baking, brush with mixture of lightly beaten egg and 1 tablespoon water sprinkle 1 tablespoon sesame seed over each wreath.
Bake in a preheated 375° F. oven until browned about 25 to 30 minutes. Tests done when bottom of wreath is tapped with fingers and sounds hollow. If wreath browns too quickly, loosely cover with foil after 15 minutes of baking. Remove from pan and cool on wire racks. Wrap airtight in foil and store in a cool place. Can be frozen up to 3 months.
Packaging Suggestions: Wrap the wreath with plastic wrap and center it on a breadboard or cardboard covered with foil, plastic wrap or gift wrap. Make a bow from wide ribbon and tie it on the wreath. Or tie the wreath and board together with wide ribbon, adding a bow in the center with cones, bells or fresh pine.