* 6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

* 1/2 cup sugar

* 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast

* 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cardamom

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 1-1/2 cups milk

* 6 tablespoons butter, cubed

* 4 eggs

* 3 to 6 hard-cooked eggs

* Canola oil

* 2 tablespoons water


* In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom and salt. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add 3 eggs; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

* Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

* Dye hard-cooked eggs; lightly rub with oil. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough into thirds. Shape each portion into a 24-in. rope.

* Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; bring ends together to form a ring. Pinch ends to seal. Gently separate braided ropes and tuck dyed eggs into openings. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 20 minutes.

* Beat water and remaining egg; gently brush over dough. Bake at 375° for 28-32 or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 1 loaf (16 slices).