Combine: 1/3 c water and 5 t yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes.
1/2 c butter, softened - beat for 30 seconds
3/4 c. sugar - add, beat to combine
3 eggs - add, beat until combined
12 oz (1.5 cups) evaporated milk
1/4 c. sour cream
1 Tbls. orange zest
2 1/4 tsp. cardamom
2 tsp. salt
Mix, then add until you have a moderately stiff dough:
7-7.5 cups flour
Knead 6-8 minutes until smooth and elastic
Let rise in greased bowl until double, one hour or so
Turn onto floured surface. Divide into six portions. Cover, let rest 10 min.
Make two braided wreaths, braid loosely so that they can expand. Let rise on baking sheet, covered for 45-60 min until double.
Combine 1 egg and 1 Tbls milk or cream. Brush over wreaths. Top with raw sugar and slivered almonds (if desired, I love it)
Bake in 375 oven for about 25 min until golden. Cover with foil for the last 10 min.
When done, let cool briefly then cover with the following glaze:
1 c. powdered sugar
2-3 Tbls. cream
1/2 tsp. orange zest
1/4 tsp. vanilla or lemon juice
PROCEED DIRECTLY TO HEAVEN.