5 to 5 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. shortening
1 tbsp. water
1 egg white, slightly beaten
Poppy seeds or sesame seeds
In large mixer bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and dry yeast. In a saucepan, heat milk and shortening until milk is warm (shortening does not need to melt). Add eggs and warm milk to flour mixture. Blend at lowest speed until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.
Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough; divide into 6 portions. Shape each portion into a strip 8 inches long by rolling between hands. Braid three strips together. Place braid on greased cookie sheet. Braid remaining three strips and place on cookie sheet. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Brush with mixture of egg white and water. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes until golden brown