Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cardamom Bread

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


1. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, salt and orange peel; whisk gently to distribute the ingredients.
2. 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.
3. In a small bowl, combine yeast, warm water and sugar. Stir gently for a few seconds, then let stand until the yeast is frothy.
4. In a small saucepan on low heat, combine butter and milk until the butter is just melted.
5. In a separate bowl, beat 2 eggs and set aside.
6. Check that the milk and butter mixture is not hot, then add the it into the dry ingredients and mix.
7. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
8. 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.
9. Punch down the dough, and cut in two parts (one for each loaf).


1. For each of the halves,
1. Split the dough into three equal sized portions.
2. Roll these into "ropes" about 18 inches long.
3. Pinch one end of each rope together.
4. Braid the ropes together:
1. Take the left rope and cross it over the middle one.
2. Take the right rope and cross it over the middle one.
3. Repeat this procedure until the ropes are fully braided.
5. Pinch the other end of the ropes together.
6. Tuck each pinched end underneath the main loaf.
2. Put finished braids on a greased cookie sheet.
3. Let rise again until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
4. Prepare an egg wash by beating 1 egg thinned with water.
5. Brush the top of each braid with the egg wash.
6. Sprinkle each braid with pearl sugar and sliced almonds.
7. 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.


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