Finnish Cardamom Braids
I love bread.
I especially love pretty bread, but of course it also has to be delicious.
That’s a given.
I was a little intimidated of this recipe because I don’t really know how to braid that well.
I know, I’m so not a girly girl. I can’t tie bows, I can’t braid, and if you could see how bad I am at painting fingernails you would seriously laugh your butt off.
But I feel like I’ve got other skills that seem more useful than any of those things. Like, I am strangely adept at consuming large amounts of cinnamon rolls and I can recognize what meal Famous Julie is cooking within seconds of walking into her house based on the smell. Both of those things seem much more useful than knowing how to tie a bow.
I’m probably just telling myself that to make myself feel better, though.
BUT… for not being able to braid very well, I think this came out pretty well if I may say so myself. BUT… as was previously mentioned, a pretty loaf of bread doesn’t do you much good unless it tastes good as well.
Well, friends… we’ve hit the jackpot with this one.
This bread is so good that it even smells great when your kneading it!
Yeah… that’s awesome.
Finnish Cardamom Braids
These flavorful braids are beautiful and the dough even smells good when you're mixing it!
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2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
2 cups warm milk (110° to 115°)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
7-8 cups unbleached flour
In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, sugar, butter, salt, cardamom, eggs and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and then divide each of those halves into thirds. Shape each piece into a 13 inch rope. Place three ropes side by side on a greased baking sheet. Braid ropes; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Repeat. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
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