Sarah really wanted cardamom bread today. So I obliged. But I had to get the pumpkin that has been on our counter for about a month now out of the way. So we got pumpkin spice bread as a bonus. I am all breaded out..
Here is Sarah's recipe. I forgot to add the egg to the yeast mixture and had to start over again..blah. It is ridiculously tasty.
Pulla (Finnish Braided Sweet Bread aka. Cardamom Bread - Makes 1 loaf)
1/2 to 3/4 cup warm water
4 Tablespoons sugar
1 packet active dry yeast (about 1 Tablespoon) - I only have instant dry, so I used just under 1 Tablespoon
2 3/4 cup AP flour (AP = All Purpose btw)
1/4 cup cold butter - the original says butter or margarine..but margarine is the devil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
crushed sugar cubes, pearl sugar, and/or sliced almonds - couldn't find the pearl sugar, I used crystallized instead
- Combine 1/4 cup of the water, 1 Tablespoon of the sugar, and the yeast in a small bowl. Stir carefully to dissolve yeast and let stand until bubbly (about 5 minutes). Add 1 egg and stir until blended. - this is the part I missed the first time around.
- Measure flour, butter, remaining 3 Tablespoons of the sugar, salt, and cardamom into electric mixer bowl. Mix with electric mixer (with dough hook attachment) until mixed.
- Add yeast mixture to flour mixture, mix until blended.
- Turn on mixer and very slowly drizzle just enough remaining water into flour mixture so dough forms a ball that cleans the sides of the bowl. Mix until ball turns around bowl about 25 times. Turn off mixer and let dough stand 1 to 2 minutes.
- Turn on mixer and gradually drizzle in enough remaining water to make dough soft, smooth and satiny, but not sticky. Mix until dough turns around bowl about 15 times.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Shape into ball and place in lightly greased bowl, turning to grease all sides. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch down dough. Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Shape each part into 18 inch strand. -- I had to bench the dough to get it to cooperate enough to do this.. Braid strands together and place on greased cookie sheet. Tuck ends under and pinch to seal. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. -- I used my dishwasher as a proofing box 8^). See attached photo.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Beat remaining egg with fork. Brush egg over braid. Sprinkle with sugar and almonds.
- Bake until loaf is evenly brown, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack.