Unfortunately, we were never able to find her recipe. This came from a 1981 Family Circle Magazine and it's really close to what we had as kids. I've found that it takes quite a while to rise so I usually increase the yeast to 1 1/2 to 2 tsp. I also skip the almonds and use dark raisins. This year I'm going to try making the dough in my bread machine.
Heat milk in small saucepan until very warm (should feel comfortably warm when dropped on wrist). Sprinkle yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar into the milk; stir to dissolve. Let stand to proof until bubbly, about 10 minutes.
Combine remaining sugar, butter, eggs and yolk, salt, orange rind, anise seed and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in yeast mixture. Beat in 3 cups of the flour, 1 cup at a time, until mixture forms a soft dough.
On floured surface, knead 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic, using as much of remaining flour as necessary to prevent dough from sticking.
Put dough in a large buttered bowl, turn to bring buttered side up; cover. Let rise in a warm place, 1 1/2 hours or until doubled.
Punch dough down. On floured surface, knead in raisins and almonds. Divide dough in half; roll into two ropes, 26 inches long.
Place ropes diagonally on an ungreased cookie sheet. Braid ropes starting in center and working toward each end, placing a tined egg between the ropes after each twist. Curve the braid into a circle; place a generously greased 5 oz, heat-proof glass dish in the center of the circle. Finish braiding the ropes, pinching the ends securely together. Cover and let rise ina warm place about 1 hour or until doubled in volume. Brush with egg white.
Bake in 350 oven for 25 minutes. Gently remove glass from center, Bake at least 10 minutes longer or until bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on wire rack. Drizzle with confectioners sugar icing and decorated quickly with colored sprinkles.