Make Yeast Mixture - In the bowl of your mixer add the yeast, 4 tsp of sugar, 1 egg, and the warm milk, mix everything well. Let it sit in a warm place for about 10 minutes until it froths up.
Prep Raisins - Soak the raisins in rum. You can warm up the rum to make this process happen faster. Use orange juice for an alcohol-free option. Drain them before adding them to the bread.
Make the dough: To the yeast mixture add the remaining dough ingredients, excluding the flour. Using the paddle attachment mix over medium speed until well combined. Switch to the dough hook and add 2 cups of the flour to the mixer bowl and mix over low speed until well combined. Add 2 more cups of the flour, mix and repeat with remaining flour. Make sure to mix for about 5 minutes. The dough should be soft and sticky.
First rise: Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, place the dough in the bowl and spray the dough itself with a bit of cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free environment until doubled in size, about 40 minutes to an hour. Once doubled in size, punch it down to release some of the air out.
Shape into loaves: Divide the dough in half. I prefer to braid these loaves, but you can also just roll out each piece of dough into a loaf and place it into greased loaf pans. I prefer to do a 6 strand braid. To do so cut each half into 6 pieces, and roll each piece into long strips about a foot long. Braid as instructed above in the post. Repeat with remaining dough.
Preheat your oven to 400 F degrees.
Second rise: Place the loaves on a baking sheet and let them rise a second time until doubled in size in a warm, draft-free environment. Should take about 30 minutes.
Bake: Brush the loaves with the egg wash all over. Bake the bread for 30 minutes or until golden brown.