I can't think of anything prettier to grace your springtime breakfast table than this bread. Flecked with orange zest and shaped like a beehive, it's a real crowd-pleaser. Kids can help roll the dough and wind it around the base. Serve with honey and sunshine-y oranges for a memorable meal.
- Combine yeast and warm water in a large bowl and let stand until yeast is bubbly, about 5 minutes.
- Warm milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat just until butter is melted. Stir in sugar and salt until dissolved. Let stand until lukewarm.
- Stir together yeast, milk mixture and 2 cups flour until smooth. Add eggs, orange juice and orange zest.
- Stir in remaining 4 to 4 1/2 cups flour until dough is stiff. Knead by hand or in a stand mixer until elastic and smooth.
- Cover bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Punch down dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and cover the outside of a 1 to 1 1/2 quart bowl measuring 7 to 8 inches across and 3 to 4 inches deep with foil. Grease foil well and set bowl bottom up on a greased baking sheet.
- Divide dough into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 24 inches long. Twist two ropes together and wind around foil covered bowl from the bottom. Repeat with remaining pieces, pinching ends together until bowl is covered and resembles a beehive.
- Twist any remaining ropes into smaller beehives and set on tray with larger bread. Let bread rise for 20 minutes.
- Brush all breads evenly with egg wash and bake in the center of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until bread is golden.
Let bread stand for 10 minutes before removing from bowl and cooling on a rack.