In a large bowl, stir the yeast into the warm milk to dissolve and let sit for 5 minutes.
Add 3 cups flour and mix with a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free area until the dough has doubled in size.
If you choose to use the golden raisins, soak the raisins for 30 minutes in warm water, then drain and pat dry with paper towels before using. This will keep the raisins soft in the bread and hard.
Transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric stand mixer and add the sugar, melted butter, egg yolks, salt, vanilla, and golden raisins. Mix to just combine.
Add the 4 cups of flour, one at time; mixing between each cup.
Mix on low to medium-low speed until the dough comes together, adding more flour one tablespoon at a time, if needed. The dough will be a bit sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it forms a smooth dough, about 5 minutes, again adding more flour one tablespoon at a time, if needed.
Divide the dough into three equal sections and shape into loaves, then transfer to three 8x4-inch greased loaf pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size.
When the dough has about 10 minutes left to rise, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. **
Brush the tops of the loaves with the egg wash.
Bake the loaves for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F** and bake for an additional 40 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown.
If the loaves are beginning to get too dark, place a tented or loose piece of foil over top.
Let the bread to cool in the pans for about 15 minutes, then turn the loaves onto a wire rack to cool completely.
***Store leftover bread in a re-sealable plastic bag and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Recipe from Ukrainian Cookbook by the SS Peter and Paul Church