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Cardamom bread is a sweet yeast bread of Scandinavian origin which is good served at breakfast, with coffee, or as a light dessert. This recipe makes two loaves.
- 1 pkg yeast, around 2.5 tsp
- 1/4 c warm water
- 3/4 c warm milk
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/2 t salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp ground cardamom (about 20 green pods)
- 4 1/2 c flour
- 1/2 c butter
- grated peel of 1 orange
- pearl sugar
- sliced almonds
- In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, salt and orange peel; whisk gently to distribute the ingredients.
- Split green cardamom pods and remove the seeds inside. With a mortar and pestle, grind the seeds into a powder and add this to the other dry ingredients.
- In a small bowl, combine yeast, warm water and sugar. Stir gently for a few seconds, then let stand until the yeast is frothy.
- In a small saucepan on low heat, combine butter and milk until the butter is just melted.
- In a separate bowl, beat 2 eggs and set aside.
- Check that the milk and butter mixture is not hot, then add the it into the dry ingredients and mix.
- Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
- Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl and let rise in a warm place (in the oven, for example) until it doubles in size, about one hour.
- Knock back the dough, and cut in two parts (one for each loaf).
- For each of the halves,
- Split the dough into three equal sized portions.
- Roll these into "ropes" about 18 inches (45 cm) long.
- Pinch one end of each rope together.
- Braid the ropes together:
- Take the left rope and cross it over the middle one.
- Take the right rope and cross it over the middle one.
- Repeat this procedure until the ropes are fully braided.
- Pinch the other end of the ropes together.
- Tuck each pinched end underneath the main loaf.
- Put finished braids on a greased cookie sheet.
- Let rise again until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- Prepare an egg wash by beating 1 egg thinned with water.
- Brush the top of each braid with the egg wash.
- Sprinkle each braid with pearl sugar and sliced almonds.
- Bake at 180 °C (350 °Fahrenheit) for 25 minutes.
- For a vegan version, substitute soy milk for milk, egg replacer for eggs, and a vegan margarine for butter.
- Store-bought ground cardamom can be used in this recipe, but has a less intense flavor than freshly ground cardamom.
- Orange peel is not traditional in cardamom bread.