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.


  • 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!

Comments (53)| Leave a comment

  1. Michele on October 31st, 2008 9:15 am

    Oh man! I was going to paint all weekend. Now I have, have, have to make this bread. I know! I’ll do both. Thank you so much for sharing and I won’t tell anyone. Honest.

  2. Meadowlark on October 31st, 2008 9:21 am

    I might live on the edge and give this a try. It sounds delicious, but not sure if I’m up for a “braid”.

    I love pictures of breadmaking with a kitchenaid… it totally lets me see if I’m doing it right.

  3. » Cardamom Bread, Sweet and Rustic : Razor Family Farms on October 31st, 2008 9:30 am

    [...] Check out The Very Best of Our Site for a complete listing of the cool stuff on this site. On for goodness sake, hide those candy wrappers before someone sees! Posted by Simple Livin’ gal | Filed Under Cooking , Food, Recipes … Cardamom Bread, Sweet and Rustic : Razor Family Farms [...]

  4. Dianne on October 31st, 2008 9:37 am

    Oh my goodness, Lacy! I think my “diet” just got postponed until Monday (very big grin)…thanks so much for the recipe! Looks absolutely fantastic!!

  5. Laurie on October 31st, 2008 9:44 am

    Beautiful bread! Guess I’ll have to go sniff the cardamom!

  6. warren on October 31st, 2008 10:07 am

    Beautiful bread! That looks like a good thing to bake this weekend!

  7. Ann on October 31st, 2008 10:16 am

    I love love love the flavor of cardamom – don’t even know how to describe it, really. Have you ever tried it in a shortbread cookie? OH HELLO MAMA!!

  8. Rosa on October 31st, 2008 10:48 am

    A wonderful bread! With cardamom, it must taste really good! A refined flavor that would go perfectly well with my Pumpkin Jam…



  9. YDavis on October 31st, 2008 10:48 am

    Looks great! Can you move closer to me?

  10. Applie on October 31st, 2008 11:42 am

    Nothing taste better than homemade bread. Yum-yum. So, did you use six strand for the braid, or three strand on the bottom and then placed another three strand on the top. I have done the six strands before and got lost in the middle of it. LOL I need to practice more. I do like the round four strand braided loaf. That’s a pretty one.

  11. CrossView on October 31st, 2008 11:55 am

    It looks wonderful! I’m not much for baking bread but I sure love to eat it! =P

  12. Simple Livin' gal on October 31st, 2008 12:07 pm

    Hey Applie! I used six strands because I think it looks so much better but it doesn’t really matter which one you use — three is the easiest by far. Truth be told — you could make this bread into a loaf and it would be delicious. When braiding with six strands, I actually start in the middle and braid down one side then turn my pan and braid the other end from the middle. It just works out better for me that way. My ends are no where near as pretty as my grandmother’s!


  13. Simple Livin' gal on October 31st, 2008 12:08 pm

    Ann — Did you say shortbread cookie? Oh my…. I can’t even think straight now. I MUST have a shortbread cookie with cardamom. It’s a need I can’t explain!

  14. Barb on October 31st, 2008 12:09 pm

    This is my cousin’s favorite Christmas bread!!!
    She bakes tons of it and gives it away…to us even! Yummy! Think I’ll wait for Christmas on this one, let HER make it! (I’ve got tons of cinnamon rolls to get made this weekend!)
    I’ll have to send her this and see how close it is to hers.
    (questions Lacy…how clean is your kitchen since you are always baking something? Bet You don’t make your own scented candles either…you wouldn’t need them with aromas continuosly flowing from your oven!)
    Momma Barb

  15. Jennifer on October 31st, 2008 12:31 pm

    That looks INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Linda Sue on October 31st, 2008 8:18 pm

    Just a great big YUMMMMMM – I also adore bread – in all it’s various guises, tastes and textures (well not that white stuff we use to feed the catfish here in the south – you know a loaf a foot and a half long that can squish down to a couple of baseball sized wads). Your cardamon bread looks beautiful and the smell I can just imagine! Great – and I’m supposed to be losing 30 pounds in the next 12 months!

  17. Kath on November 1st, 2008 9:22 am

    That looks fabulous!! I will try making it this week and bring it to my son’s house when I visit him for our cooking class. He LOVES fresh bread. Beer bread is his fav.

  18. shelli on November 3rd, 2008 7:44 am

    Yummy! I’m really needing to bake some bread, it’s been ages since I did it from scratch.

  19. gingela5 on November 3rd, 2008 12:05 pm

    That looks SO GOOD! I love bread.

  20. Tia Julie on November 6th, 2008 3:27 pm

    Wow, this bread looks super delicious……………

  21. Falls Away : Razor Family Farms on November 7th, 2008 4:40 am

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  22. Dawn on November 9th, 2008 9:12 pm

    It looks delicious. I wish I could eat bread. Of course I would probably look like a big braided loaf if I could; well, more than I do.

  23. Paula on November 11th, 2008 9:18 pm

    OH YUM! Bread calls to me from the rooftops as well. I can’t pass a bakery without crying….Going to have to try this recipe! NOW!!

  24. Jana on November 19th, 2008 4:30 pm

    Girl, you know it, I totally need more of your recipe’s…everytime I make one of yours, I think my husband falls more in love with me. :o )

  25. George on December 18th, 2008 3:23 pm

    My wife Claire (who is Swedish ancestry) LOVES to bake, and she does these absolutely lovely breads as contributions to potlucks and so forth.

    So far she’s always getting invites to socials at church, and after sending a couple to work, I think my annual reviews have gotten better!

    (and there’s nothing like a warm slice of cardamom bread with some hot Swedish coffee in the morning. Butter optional.)

  26. Deborah Almquist on February 22nd, 2009 7:41 am

    I have tried your cardamon recipe. flavor is great but I had trouble shaping/braiding it properly. could I simply roll the dough out and shape for a loaf pan. would that work as well.

    thanks so much for your guidance..

  27. Theresa on March 25th, 2009 4:01 pm

    I found this recipe via google, and tried it out today, substituting ground ginger for cardamom (that’s what I had in the house). It was great! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  28. Jane on May 8th, 2009 12:51 pm

    Fabulous – makes wonderful rolls, if you’re braid-challenged. Tusen Tak

  29. Sophie on June 1st, 2009 2:04 am

    MMMMM…your cardamom bread looks fenomenal & so tasty !!

  30. Sophie on June 19th, 2009 1:01 pm

    MMMMMM…your cardamom bread looks so delicous!

    I also have a recipe for it but I am goig to make yours first,……….

  31. Nick on August 10th, 2009 5:07 pm

    This recipe is fantastic! I made it for my college friends and they loved it. Goes very well with strong coffee.

  32. Jared on December 9th, 2009 3:29 am

    Thanks for posting your recipe. This might be a variation I may have to try sometime. I have a family recipe which is hand-written by my grandmother, which was passed down to her. She always called it Swedish Cardaman Bread…yes, that’s right cardaman! My recipe is very large and makes 8 loaves, and takes 7-8 hours to make start to finish. I had to peek at your instructions b/c my “Gram” didn’t indicate how long to bake the loaves!

  33. Morningview on December 21st, 2009 2:51 pm

    Try this: I adapted it from cook book recipe for a vegetable side dish—-
    Victoria’s Honeyed Carrot and Parsnip Soup (with cardamom and fennel seed)
    1lb carrot and
    1lb parsnip, sliced to a quarter inch thickness
    Saute covered in 2/3 cup water, 4tbsp. butter, 1 tbsp ground cardomom, 1 1/2 tsp. fennel seed, 3 tbsp. honey for 5 – 7 minutes
    Stir until glazed.
    Let cool for easy handling and dump about a third at a time into food processer adding vegetable broth to achieve your favorite desired consistency.
    Reheat in soup pot — when heated through and steaming, but not boiling, add 1/2 cup cream.
    Serve with a few extra fennel seeds and thinly sliced pear for garnish.
    I’d recommend some fresh, hot Swedish Cardamom Bread and unsalted butter to serve with it…

  34. john on December 25th, 2009 3:12 am

    Oh I’ve been trying to make some caradaman bread, use to have it all the time at grandmas when I was young and this recipe looks like I might get it made, but sure not at good as my both of my grandmas did. Also they glazed it with a sugar.

  35. Kate on August 31st, 2010 4:44 am

    This looks so good I’m making it now. How long do you knead it with the bread hook? I did 5 min. Also, does the braid spend any time rising, or does it go from board to oven? Thanks.

  36. Bren on September 11th, 2010 11:10 am

    Wow, what a keeper! Just like my mom’s! A few things that I would do different next time though: make sure the water or milk temp. is between 120 and 130 degrees F when adding to the flour mix, or it won’t rise properly. If at first it doesn’t seem to rise, put in a warm place. Also, I would dissolve the salt somehow before putting it in the dough, because it doesn’t taste incorporated in the dough enough (I used my hands during the whole process, maybe that’s why!). I would also let the dough rise in it’s braid form for 40 minutes. I used a 9×13 pan for this bread, it’s so big! Very beautiful and delicious! Thank you for the recipe, and you can trust me not to tell anyone! Pinkie swear! :X

  37. A Clayton Beach Sunday and Bread | A Recipe for Travel on October 23rd, 2010 9:34 am

    [...] On Sunday, I went back to Clayton with some of my friends, Shawna and Thomas. No sun or wedding today, but glorious clouds, mist, and a lovely potluck with bread, cheese, fruit and salad. Yum!  And then, it was time to come home and make cardamom bread, as a thank you/goodbye gift to coworkers and friends. Find the recipe here. [...]

  38. Patricia Roberts on October 23rd, 2010 7:43 pm

    I need to know what sweet icing is supposed to be on the top after its baked and cooled?

  39. Simple Livin' gal on October 24th, 2010 2:13 pm

    I suppose that any glaze-type icing would work well. I have never iced the cardamom bread before but imagine that it would be lovely with some butter-rum glaze or simply transformed into a cardamom iced-bun tray. Experiment and then please post your results here for the rest of us to try! Thank you! -Lacy

  40. Julie on December 12th, 2010 12:32 am

    My Grandma used to make these every Christmas, in massive quanity. I remember her glaze mixture as being a mixture of a little milk, butter (melted), powdered sugar and a bit of orange rind, and drizzled over the bread after the bread had cooled. I’m going to try this recipe, sounds really good. :)

  41. Sue on December 17th, 2010 10:57 am

    My mom is 86 and just stopped making this bread :( but my daughter has started making it and she has done a great job. I don’t have the time to make it, but used to. My mom got the receipe from my dad’s mother who was from Norway. Great receipe…

  42. Windy Hope on January 17th, 2011 6:41 pm

    Ive been trying to find my “childhood” cardomom bread recipe and ive finally found It :) Thank you so much. Im the oldest of five kids, and have been trying to find this recipe for my sisters and brothers for like 10 years:) They loved this and said it was “just like they remembered”!!!!! I cant wait to make it again and use it for my family someday :)

  43. Shuckapeafarms on April 24th, 2011 8:57 pm

    I saw one commenter who actually made the bread! How can you comment on something you haven’t made?
    One guys says the “salt” doesn’t mix so next time he’s going to dilute it???? WHAT??? You’re supposed to mix the salt with the other dry ingredients and the wet ingredients with the wet………I mean this is pretty much basics in the kitchen but then to comment about it???????????
    I also see so many people stating mixing times that really don’t have a clue about what they are talking about! There time frames are based on old school hand mixing. If you’re using the KitchenAid electric mixer with the dough hook, when the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl into a ball on the hook…’re DONE unless you want tough bread! Don’t continue mixing it (kneading) once it pulls from the side of the mixing bowl….that is wrong information!!!!!
    Also, the yeast will be killed if the water temp is over 120F!! Pizza shops will tell you 130F……….two things, Pizza guys are NOT chefs and 130F will for surely kill the yeast! It is way too HOT!! We like 110F as the temp for our yeast.
    I love Cardamom anything and as a pastry Chef have made this before from an old European Recipe. It makes a fantastic holiday bread to which you can use your imagination on a coinciding beverage. Hot Apple Cider based beverages are my favorite with this bread.

  44. Ian on December 11th, 2011 11:13 am

    I have made this bread from my Finnish grandmother’s recipe since I was 6 years old (over 40 years!), and like Barb’s cousin, it has become the gift I give at Christmas. (The fact that it is a boy baked bread really blows people away!) In fact, I can’t get into the spirit until the aroma of cardamom fills the air. The Finns call it ‘pulla’ and the only difference–except minor changes in quantities–is that I bake this as a twice-raised bread. I let the dough rise once until doubled in size (this can take as long as 2 hours), then punch it down, flip it cover it and let it rise until doubled again. i think this results in a more spongy crumb and perhaps a denser loaf. Then I split it, braid it (usually french braid, although the traditional braid is three strands), let it rise about 35 minutes, paint it with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and sliced almonds, and bake. It is best warm from the oven, with or without butter, and served with strong hot coffee. Enjoy, and “Hyvää Joulua!” (Merry Christmas!)

  45. Food by laurenvc - Pearltrees on December 11th, 2011 9:46 pm

    [...] Cardamom Bread, Sweet and Rustic : Razor Family Farms 1 tsp salt 1 tsp ground cardamom 1 egg, lightly beaten 1.) Mix flour, yeast, and cardamom in your mixing bowl. Set aside. [...]

  46. Veronika on December 15th, 2011 9:52 pm

    I just made this cardamom bread tonight, for a holiday party at my husband’s work tomorrow. Everyone is supposed to bring a treat from their ethnic background, and he’s Finnish, so instead of a pasty (too messy/heavy for a daytime work party), I thought a cardamom bread (like his grandmother used to make) would be a nice choice. It’s cooling on the counter now, and I’m dying to try it, but it’s not for us. Although my husband said “I don’t need to bring the WHOLE bread to the party, you know…” I did the 6 part braid, and it looks gorgeous (I watched a tutorial on youtube to learn how)! I doubled the cardamom, because that’s how we roll (and we love cardamom), and the house smells delicious! Thanks for posting such an easy (and delicious smelling) recipe!

  47. Andy on December 21st, 2011 6:05 pm

    Making this bread with my mom today due to her Swedish background, and it is now a tradition. Honestly, being a chef it is a bit of a daunting task not being a great baker, but chalk it up to a learning experience.

    This recipe will now be used in place of the one we made today. It is easier and sounds like a winner.

    Varsa God!

  48. Kim on January 8th, 2012 5:36 pm

    I remember my Danish grandparents having bread like this when I visited them. I have always remembered it and wanted to re-create it. My son suggested googling to see if I could find a recipe and … yours came up … and… it looks like it could be it!!! thank you!

  49. grammy gun on January 16th, 2012 6:44 pm

    I can hardly wait to make this, I love cardamon bread. My dad’s family had it for every holiday although none of them knew how to make it!!! they always bought it from a Swedish woman who would not give out her family recipe. Thank you

  50. Diana on January 11th, 2013 6:50 pm

    Making this right now. It seems the dough was not real sticky. Praying it works out. If not I need help!!

  51. Laura on February 20th, 2013 9:04 pm

    i come from a Swedish immigrant family, and this bread was a staple in my house growing up. i saw your recipe and decided to make it again, for old times’ sake! thanks so much!

  52. Lisa Garcia on December 10th, 2013 9:33 am

    Hi, I’d love to make this bread but only have the active dry yeast. How much of my kind of yeast do you use?

  53. jm on December 29th, 2013 8:19 pm

    “This looks…this looks…this looks” Did anyone actually make this and then leave a comment?

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