In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, add the yeast, sugar, and warm milk. Let it proof and raise.
Meanwhile, measure out the remaining ingredients for the bread. Mix them into the yeast mixture starting with 4 cups of flour and then adding more if necessary. The dough should be soft and only slightly sticky. The amount depends on the flour and air humidity.
Let knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Alternatively, knead the dough by hand. Lightly oil the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in volume, about 1-2 hours.
Divide the dough into halves. Press one half onto the bottom of a 10-inch greased springform pan.
Divide the other half into three even pieces. Form each piece into a thin rope, about 32-inch long. Braid the pieces together and loop around the edge of the pan. Cut off excess dough and pinch the ends together to seal. Use the extra dough to form a cross and place it on top of the filling (optional).
Let rise for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
With an electric mixer, beat the ricotta, cream cheese, and sugar until smooth. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
Press down the center of the dough flat. Brush the braid with egg wash. Pour the cheesecake filling in the middle of the braided circle.
Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 40-45 more minutes or until the crust is a deep brown. Turn off the heat and let cool in the oven without opening the door for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Just before serving, brush the braid with honey glaze.
~ Free Tip ~
Add ½ cup raisins to the cheesecake filling (soak them in rum to soften).
For a quick dough rise, place the bowl into a larger bowl filled halfway with hot water.
Use just one kind of cheese for the filling - 12 oz. (1 ½ cup) of ricotta, cream cheese or farmers cheese.