Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, heat water and butter in microwave for one minute on high. Stir and heat for one additional minute on high. Add water/ butter mixture into dry ingredients until moist. Add beaten eggs. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 to 8 minutes). Form dough into a ball. Butter top of the dough and place back into a large bowl. Cover with waxed paper and towel. Let rise until double in bulk. Remove dough from bowl. Punch down. Cut dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into approximately 14" strip. Gather 3 strips, press tops together, and then braid. Press bottoms of strips together to seal and form loaf. Place loaves on cookie sheets. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Brush tops of loaves with egg wash and bake for 30 minutes at 350 °F. Makes 4 loaves.