This bread is so delicious and so pretty because it is braided. It's not terribly hard to make, but takes a few hours because it has to rise twice. (Hint: I fill a sink with the hottest water possible and put the bowl/cookie sheet over the sink with a towel over it. This makes the bread rise much quicker if you don't have a warm place in your house to raise bread in.) You can easily double the recipe and actually make 6 loaves by separating the dough into smaller parts. Also, the butter is very important. If you use unsalted butter, the flavor isn't as good--guaranteed.
1 pkg. yeast
1 1/4 c. warm water (as hot as you can comfortably touch it)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. oil
4 1/2 c. flour
Mix yeast, water, and tsp. sugar, set aside. Mix the other ingredients together, then add yeast mixture. Lay out on floured surface and knead 5 minutes. Put into greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise, double, punch down. Cut dough into 3 parts (there will actually be 6 parts because the recipe makes 2 loaves). Make 2 braids and let them rise on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 20 min. or until golden brown. Pour 1/2 cube of melted butter over bread before baking and 1/2 cube of melted butter just after baking.