Preheat oven to 375
In a large mixing bowl place yeast and warm water. Whisk together and let sit for a couple of minutes until its frothy. (If using dry yeast add the sugar to activate.)
In a saucepan, warm the milk and butter over low heat until butter is melted.
When butter is melted, remove from heat and let cool a little (you want this to be warm, not hot).
When the milk, butter mix is warm, whisk into yeast mix.
Add the sugar, eggs plus the one egg yolk, salt, vanilla, orange zest, and cardamom.
With a wooden spoon, add flour one cup at a time, stirring until the dough starts to look drier.
When the dough is mixed well, cover and let set in a warm part of your kitchen until it has doubled in size.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
When the dough is ready, turn onto a floured surface and knead for about 3-5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic, not sticky.
With a dough scraper or knife. cut dough into 3 even pieces.
Roll each section out into 18-20 inch ropes.
After ropes are made, pinch together one end (you can dip your fingers in water and wet the bread so it will stick on the ends) and carefully braid.
Once you braid you can either keep the bread a long braid or form into a circle and pinch the ends together. You can stretch the ring out from the middle to make a bigger hole if you want.
Transfer to lined cookie sheet.
Add a tsp of water to the reserved egg white and brush bread with egg wash using a pastry brush.
Let rise for about a 1/2 hour depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden on top.