Mix scalded milk, salt, sugar and butter and cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in warm water and add milk mixture. Add beaten egg, reserving some to brush loaves.
Add three cups of flour and beat until smooth. Add about 2 1/2 cups more flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 10 minutes.
Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 50 minutes. Punch down and knead in orange peel and raisins.
Divide dough in half, then from each half cut about a third off. Roll each piece until it is approx. 15 inches. Braid three of the larger strands, then three of the smaller strands. Place each smaller braid on the larger braid to make two loaves.
Brush loaves with reserved egg and place almonds on top. Let rise about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375° and bake about 40 minutes.