I only have cardamon bread once a year in my house and it is that time of year! I have memories of my sister cooking this during the holiday season.
This bread is soft and luscious. It is sightly sweet with just the right amount of cardamon.
4 cups C4C flour (spooned into a measuring cup)
1 cup scalded milk*
1/2 cup water
1 TBSP yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter (warm)
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1 egg for egg wash
1 egg for egg wash
Scald your milk and set aside. Let cool until warm.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, dissolve yeast in warm water.
Dissolve for 5 minutes.
Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
Mix in sugar, milk, egg, melted butter.
In a separate bowl mix together flour, salt, and cardamon.
Add flour slowly to yeast mixture until all the flour has been added.
Beat for 3 minutes on high speed.
Dough will be stiff and slightly sticky.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide into three pieces.
Roll each piece into a long roll ( about 12-14 inches) on a greased cookie sheet.
Braid the three pieces together.
Cover and let rise in a warm place for 40-60 minutes.
Beat an egg and brush dough with egg wash.
Bake at 375 ˚F for 25-35 minutes or until done.
(Cover with aluminum foil if the bread is browning to fast and uncover the last few minutes before it finishes cooking.)
My braided bread burst open in the oven.
This may be undesirable, but I have to tell you it was still beautiful to me.
*Scalding milk - is milk that has been heated just to the boiling point. To do this get a heavy bottomed sauce pan that so that you can avoid hot spots. Over medium heat, stir milk regularly until bubbles form around the edges and the milk is just about to boil. Stirring regularly prevents a film from forming.
Turn off and let cool down before using.
Scalding milk helps make the bread lighter.
Busted Braid - I haven't been able to figure out why my braid burst. I looked around and found a recipe for a braided challah bread from Zoe and Jeff Hertzberg's (author's of Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day) bread. After they let their dough rise, it rested in the refrigerator for at least three hours, before being baked in a preheated oven. The pictures of their finished bread showed that it didn't burst. You can look at it here. Just a thought for next time. I will try and see if that curtails the problem.