In a large bowl, combine yeast, water, 1/4 cup of sugar and milk, mixing until yeast and sugar have dissolved. Stir in 1 cup flour until well blended. Cover and let stand in a warm place for 1 hour.
In a bowl, combine butter, 1/2 cup sugar and egg yolks. Add the yeast-flour mixture from step 1, stirring well. Add vanilla, cardamom, salt and enough of the 3-3 1/2 cups flour to make a soft dough. Stir in raisind, almonds and orange rind.
In a small bowl, beat 2 egg whites untill stiff. Fold them into th dough made in step 2. Knead until asmooth and elastic dough forms. Place in a greased bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap and let to rise until doubled in size.
Coat a kulich pan with cooking spray. Punch down the dough and knead for a few times. Place it in the prepared pan, cover with greased plastic wrap and leave to rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 35 to 40 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
While Kulich is baking, prepare glaze by combining in a small bowl the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, almond extract and enough water to make a smooth, runny glaze.
Remove Kulich from oven and let to cool for 10 minutes. Unmold from pan and cool on a wire rack. While still slightly warm, drizzle glaze over the top. To serve, cut of the crown and slice base into rounds. T keep any leftovers moist, replace the crown.