For the dough:
Heat milk to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour the hot milk over the butter, sugar, and salt, stir occasionally until butter melts.
Let the mixture cool until lukewarm.
In a mixing bowl combine the milk mixture with eggs and yeast.
Add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing until a smooth dough forms.
Place the dough in a greased container, cover it, and set aside to rise until doubled (about 1 to 1 1/2 hours).
After it has risen, deflate the dough, cover, and let rest for another 10 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 20″ x 12″ rectangle.
For the filling:
Brush surface of the dough with melted butter, leaving a 1/2″ strip bare along one of the long sides.
Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, then add the nuts, mixed fruits and zest. Mix thoroughly.
Sprinkle mixture over the buttered section of the dough.
Starting with the garnished long edge, roll the dough up working towards the edge with no butter. Pinch the seam together to seal it firmly and bring the ends together to form a ring.
To help the dough keep its shape, grease a custard cup and put it on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Place the dough, seam side down, around the cup and tuck one end inside the other, pinching it together to seal it.
Flatten the ring slightly, and using a pair of scissors, make cuts in the dough at 1 1/2″ intervals around the outside edge. Hide candy inside!
Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 to 40 minutes (it should double in size).
While waiting for the dough to rise, preheat the oven to 350°F.
When ready remove the plastic wrap, and brush the top with beaten egg.
Garnish with candied cherries or decorate with nuts as desired.
Bake the bread for 25 to 35 minutes, until golden. Cool on a rack before slicing.