2 (4-1/2 tsp.) envelopes Fleischmann's® Active Dry Yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine softened
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
5-1/4 to 5-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon water
Optional poppy seed
Place 1/2 cup warm water in large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved. Add remaining water, sugar, margarine, salt, and 1-1/2 cups flour; blend well. Stir in 3 eggs, 1 egg white (reserve 1 yolk), and enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface; divide in half. Set aside 1 half. Divide remaining half into 2 pieces, one about 2/3 of the dough and the other about 1/3 of the dough. Divide larger piece into 3 equal pieces; roll to 12-inch ropes. Place ropes on greased baking sheet; braid. Pinch ends to seal. Divide remaining piece into 3 equal pieces. Roll to 10-inch ropes; braid. Place small braid on large braid. Pinch ends firmly to seal and secure to large braid. Repeat with remaining dough to make second loaf on another baking sheet. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Beat reserved egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water; brush over loaves. Sprinkle with poppy seed, if desired. Bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes or until done, switching positions of sheets in oven halfway through baking time. Remove from sheets; let cool on wire racks.
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