Cardamom Bread, Sweet and Rustic

October 31, 2008|Comments (53)

Bread is my weakness.  It calls to me in the night and from the rooftops.  Our love is a real and tangible thing.  Thankfully, I am not the only one to fall for the steamy fragrant delicious stuff.  My darling husband, light of my life, has also fallen into its spongy clutches.  I fear that I am partly to blame.  **tsk tsk**

Cardamom, a must-have in any Nordic bread, is one of my favorite spices which I learned to use while living in Washington state in Lutheran country (lots of people with Nordic origins there).  Prior to moving there, I used cardamom only in curries and sometimes apple pie.  Oh, how much I missed!

Now, I will share my favorite cardamom-containing bread recipe but it’s a secret, so don’t tell anyone.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 4 cups flour
  • 11/4 cups lukewarm milk or water
  • 3/4 cup melted butter or oil
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom

1.)  Mix flour, yeast, and cardamom in your mixing bowl.  Set aside.  Eat some Halloween candy.  You deserve a reward.

2.)  Heat milk and stir in sugar until dissolved.  I like to do this in a 4 cup glass measuring cup but do whatever makes you feel like dancing.

3.)  Add the milk and sugar to the flour mixture.  Add 1/2 cup melted butter or oil, too.  Mix on low (if you are using a mixer) until a nice sticky dough forms.

4.)  Change out the mixer blade and use a dough hook.  Knead for a few minutes and then stop.  Let the dough rest for about 20 minutes with a light cover over it (I use a plate and just stick it over the top of the mixing bowl).  This is called autolyse (sounds like auto-lease) and is nap time for the dough during which the gluten relaxes and absorbs moisture.

5.)  During the autolyse, I wash the dishes and paint my baking pan with rest of the melted butter (or oil).  When the twenty minutes is up, begin kneading again and knead in the salt.

6.)  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into three equal parts.  Let them rise for about 30-45 minutes.  Roll the dough balls into ropes and braid them on the greased baking pan.  Tuck the ends of the braid under.  Sneak another piece of candy.  I won’t tell.

7.)  Preheat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Brush the braided loaf with egg and sprinkle it with sugar.  Bake until golden brown (about 30 minutes).

Need more recipes?  Of course you do.  Check out The Very Best of Our Site for a complete listing of the cool stuff on this site.  Oh, and for goodness sake, hide those candy wrappers before someone sees!

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