My husband and I came over to my parent’s house to help them dig out from the snow. While there, my mom requested that I make a recipe for Finnish cardamom bread that she found in a magazine. My mom doesn’t have a bread machine so I made the bread entirely by hand.
The recipe makes a beautiful slightly sweet loaf, but it did not have as much cardamom flavor as I expected. In fact, I could barely taste the cardamom at all.
I recommend upping the amount of cardamom for a stronger flavor. I glazed the bread the next day with an orange-almond powdered sugar glaze to make for an extra special breakfast treat.
FINNISH CARDAMOM BREAD INGREDIENTS
MAKES 2 LOAVES, 10 SERVINGS EACH
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup, plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup skim milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (Use more for a stronger flavor, up to 1 teaspoon)
- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 beaten egg for glaze,
- Granulated sugar for sprinkling
WHAT TO DO
Mix yeast, warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar until yeast dissolves. Set aside.
Heat milk in a saucepan over low heat until small bubbles appear along the edges. Cool to about 120F. Add beaten eggs, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, salt, cardamom, and 3 cups flour. Beat well. Add butter; beat well. Add yeast mixture. Add remaining 11/2 cups flour in three additions, mixing well after each addition, until the dough has a soft to medium consistency.
Knead on a lightly floured surface or with a mixer fitted with dough hooks until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding as little additional flour as possible.
Place dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled 1 to 2 hours. Punch down dough and let rise again until almost doubled about 1 hour.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope. Braid 3 ropes together to form a loaf. Repeat with remaining 3 ropes. Place loaves on a greased baking sheet or in greased 81/2 x 41/2-inch loaf pans. Cover with a cloth and let rise until doubled about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Brush loaves with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 25 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Invert from pan and cool on a wire rack.