In a bread machine pan, place the first seven ingredients in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select "dough" setting. Check dough after about 5 minutes and add 1-2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed.
When cycle is complete, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into thirds and shape each piece into a 20" rope. Place ropes on a parchmented baking sheet and braid together. Pinch off the ends to seal and tuck under. Cover braid and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
In a small bowl, mix egg and water. Brush mixture over dough and sprinkle with sugar and almonds. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to wire rack to cool.
If you are short on time, this bread can be made in a bread machine, without the topping.