Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Stir in the butter until melted; let cool to lukewarm.

In a small mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.

Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. In another small bowl,  beat the eggs lightly.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together  flour, white sugar, salt, lemon zest, mace and nutmeg.

Make a well in the center of this mixture and pour in the cooled milk, cream, yeast mixture and beaten eggs.

Beat well until a loose dough forms. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 3 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 9 portions. Braid 4 (larger ones),  on top lay three (smaller ones) braided and on top the last two (smallest ones)braided.

We did only three at the bottom and on top 2.

Place it on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Place the uncovered loaf in an unheated oven to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Remove the loaf from oven and preheat to 180°C.

Brush with the eggwash and garnish with the almonds (we ommited this).

Bake at 180°C for 30 to 50 minutes or until lightly browned.

If bread starts to brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil and continue baking. Cool on wire rack.