1In large bowl, stir 4 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the yeast, salt, milk and 1/2 cup melted butter until well mixed. On lightly floured surface, knead dough 5 to 6 minutes, adding additional flour as needed, until smooth and no longer sticky. Grease large bowl with shortening or spray with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover and let rise in warm place 30 to 40 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
2Meanwhile, grease 10-cup fluted tube cake pan with shortening or spray with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, the lemon peel and poppy seed.
3Gently push fist into dough to deflate; divide in half. Roll half of dough at a time into a rope, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Cut each rope into 16 pieces. Return dough pieces to greased bowl; toss gently with 1/2 cup melted butter, using hands. Sprinkle poppy seed mixture over buttered dough; toss gently until well coated. Shape pieces into balls; place evenly in pan. Cover and let rise in warm place 20 to 30 minutes or until until dough has almost doubled in size (dough will just reach top of pan).
4Heat oven to 350ºF. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until deep golden brown. Immediately place heatproof serving plate upside down on pan; turn plate and pan over to remove bread. Serve warm.