- Combine yeast and 2½ cups flour in a mixer bowl-mix well combine milk, brown sugar, butter, and salt in a saucepan, over a low flame.
- Heat to 120°F, remove from heat.
- Stir into flour mixture.
- Add eggs, egg white, anise seeds, and lemon zest.
- Beat on low speed for 30 seconds.
- Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
- Stir in as much flour as you can by hand.
- Add Raisins and turnout onto a very lightly floured board knead for 6–8 minutes by hand, until smooth and elastic shape into a ball.
- Place into a greased bowl and turn once.
- Cover and allow to rise for 60 – 90 minutes, until doubled punch down, divide in half, and allow to rest for 10 minutes set one half aside.
- Divide the remaining piece in half.
- Cut one half in thirds.
- Roll each third into an 18-inch rope.
- Loosely braid and place onto a greased cookie sheet.
- Divide the other half into fourths.
- Roll three into 14-inch ropes.
- Braid loosely and place on top of the 18-inch braid.
- Cut the remaining fourth into three pieces.
- Roll into 12-inch ropes.
- Braid loosely and place on top of the 14-inch braid Tuck ends under.
- Repeat with the other half of dough.
- Cover and let rise for 30 – 45 minutes.
- Brush with egg yolks and sprinkle with almonds.
- Remove from oven.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.