Makes 2 large loaves.

2 packages (2 Tbs.) dry yeast
⅓ cup warm water
2 cups milk
3 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. sugar
7 to 7½ cups whole wheat flour
1 Tbs. salt
1 whole egg
4 egg yolks
1 tsp. cream
sesame seeds

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Scald the milk and stir the butter and sugar into it. Pour the hot milk mixture into a large mixing bowl, and when lukewarm, stir in the yeast.

Mix together the flour and the salt. Add about 2 cups of flour to the milk and beat with an electric beater until the mixture is smooth.

Beat the egg and the yolks together lightly. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg mixture and add the rest to the batter. Beat again until smooth.

Gradually stir in enough flour to make a stiff dough. When the dough is too stiff to be stirred with a spoon, turn it out onto a well-floured board and knead about 10 to 15 minutes, adding more flour as necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Form the dough into a ball and put it in a large, buttered bowl, turning it over once so that it is coated on all sides. Cover the bowl with a towel and leave it in a warm, draft-free place for about 1½ hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Punch the dough down and cut it into 2 pieces. Pat each piece into a smooth oblong, about 14 inches long and 6 inches wide. Slice the oblongs into 3 even strips, leaving the connected at one end. Starting at the connected end, form a thick braid, tucking under the last bit and pinching it to the others.

Place the braids in 2 buttered medium-sized loaf pans, cover them with a towel, and let rise for about ½ hour, or until half again as large.

Stir about 1 teaspoon of cream into the reserved egg and brush the tops of the loaves with it. Sprinkle the loaves with sesame seeds and bake them in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes