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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cardamom Bread

It wouldn't be a Swedish blog without some Swedish Cardamom bread.  I have the best memories of coming home from school to smell this baking in the oven.  I love eating this with butter, or even better - toasted for breakfast!  Thanks to my friend Marny Danz for contributing her recipe:

Makes 4 loaves.
2 c. milk
2 slightly beaten eggs at room temperature
½ c. butter (1 stick)
1 ½ tsp. ground cardamom
1 c. sugar 7-8 c. flour (I use King Arthur’s bread flour)
1 Tbs. salt
A few Tbs. of melted butter
3 pkg. yeast
Pearl sugar
¼ c. lukewarm water
Slivered almonds

Scald the milk (heat until there are bubbles around the edges). Then turn off the heat and add ½ cup butter, sugar and salt. Mix and cool to lukewarm. Soften yeast in lukewarm water. Add yeast to cooled milk mixture. Add eggs and cardamom. Stir or mix in 6 cups flour and then knead the rest of the flour in (just as much as you need until it is elastic and smooth – about 8-10 minutes of kneading). Grease a large bowl. Put the dough in the bowl and then turn the dough over so the top has some of whatever you used to grease (Crisco or margarine) on it. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place until double in size (usually takes approximately 1 ½ hours). Punch down and form into four braided loaves (tuck ends of braids under each end of each loaf). Grease four 9X5 bread pans and place a loaf in each pan. Melt butter and brush on loaves. Sprinkle with pearl sugar and slivered almonds. Cover with cloth. Let rise until double (they should fill the pans-1 hour or more). Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (may be a little less time if you have dark pans – cook until they are golden brown). Cool a few minutes and then take out of pans and cool on racks completely before bagging.

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