Dissolve 3 yeast cakes in 1/2 cup warm water, (not hot). Add 2 cups warm, nonfat milk (or scalded whole milk slightly cooled) and 3 cups flour, and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk together and set aside to proof yeast.
In a separate bowl, add 1dozen fresh eggs, sugar, and lemon juice. Beat well and then add melted butter.
Add yeast mixture, the remaining flour and 2 tablespoons of salt. Mix well and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes.
Continue mixing until dough begins to pull away from bowl or knead with greased hands until dough pulls away from your hands. This takes a while and the dough is sticky unlike bread dough. Place in greased bowl and cover to let rise to double, about 1 to 3 hours.
Punch down, turn over, and let rise to double a second time.
Carefully break away about 2/3 pound of dough at a time, rolling dough into a nice loaf shape and place into greased loaf pans. This should make about 5 to 7 nice loafs. Let rise until double in the pans for a third rising.
Make two to three 1/4-inch slits on the top of each loaf and then brush tops with 1 beaten egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water.
Bake at 325 degrees F for about 10 minutes and then reduce heat to about 300 degrees F for another 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove loaves from the oven and lay them on their side on a rack for a couple of minutes before removing from the pan.
With this recipe we also make braids and sometimes add dried fruit and glaze the tops lightly with icing.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.