This recipe has been somehow passed down on my mother's side of the family for quite some time - no one seems to know where it came from or who baked it first. Happily for me, my mom dutifully made it every year at Easter. Like a little sneak, I would help myself to a slice and methodically eat around all the edges in their honey soaked splendor, leaving behind the airy center . . . Not a problem anymore. I eat every last crumb.
It is rich, yet still manages to be light and airy. You don't need to worry about the richness, however, as step two of the baking process is a bit of a workout on the biceps and shoulders :)
You can bake this in one large bundt/tube pan, or two smaller, fluted bundt pans for a bit of a wow factor. —Oops! Were you gonna eat that?
milk (2% or whole, don't use skim)
salt (1.5 if using Kosher salt)
active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups
all purpose flour
grated lemon zest
unsalted butter, melted (for the glaze)
Scald milk and add butter, sugar and salt. Mix well and let cool.
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes. Then add the beaten eggs, 2 cups of the flour and the cooled milk mixture. Mix well. Add as much of the remaining flour as you need in order to form a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
Melt the butter (not too hot, you don't want to cook your egg yolks). Add in the sugar, egg yolks and lemon zest. Mix well.
Once the dough has risen, beat the butter/egg/zest mixture into the dough by hand, using a punching - pulling motion. This is the aforementioned arm workout :). Continue until the dough is smooth and shiny.
Grease one large bundt/tube pan or two smaller fluted bundt pans. If using the two smaller pans, line the bottom of each pan with a blanched almond in each "section." Divide the dough evenly between the pans. Cover and let rise again for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 320. Bake at 320 for 1 hour for one loaf or 30-35 minutes for 2 loaves. Invert onto a cooling rack.
Mix the 3 TBS of melted butter and the honey together. Brush this glaze all over the bread.