A must on the Finnish coffee table! So light and delicious, the cardamom flavored slices are traditionally served unbuttered.
This recipe is featured at Food Wanderings.
This recipe makes 3 braided loaves
|Cardamom pods (1 tsp crushed)||20, OR 1 tsp ground cardamom|
|Bread Flour||6+1/2 to 7 cups|
|Active Dry Yeast||4+1/2 tsp|
|Egg, slightly beaten||1|
|Sliced almonds OR Pearl sugar||3 TBSP|
Crack open cardamom pods; grind or pound seeds. In large mixer bowl, combine 2+1/2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and cardamom; mix well. In saucepan, heat milk, water and butter until warm (120-130°F; butter does not need to melt). Add to flour mixture. Add 2 eggs. Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
Punch down dough. Divide into 3 parts. Divide each third into 3 pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll each piece to a 16-inch rope. On greased cookie sheet, loosely braid 3 ropes from center to ends. Pinch ends and tuck under to seal. Cover; let rise in warm place until indentation remains after lightly touching. Gently brush braids with egg; sprinkle with almonds or pearl sugar. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets; cool.
You can substitute Instant (fast-rising) yeast for Active Dry Yeast. Traditional methods- replace 1:1. Expect your dough to rise faster; always let your dough rise until ‘ripe’. Bread Machines- use 1/2 tsp Instant yeast (or 3/4 tsp Active Dry yeast) per cup of flour in your recipe. Visit our Lessons in Yeast & Baking for more information.