Finnish Cardamom Bread

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 20 servings
  • Prep 35 mins
  • Cook 25 mins

This beautiful golden loaf with a braided top is perfect for breakfast. Leftovers would make great bread pudding or French toast.

cardamom bread
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

St. Paul Bread Club member Pat Roberts grinds cardamom seeds in a coffee grinder.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
2 -- eggs beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds or ground cardamom
41/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 -- beaten egg (for glaze)
1 teaspoon Granulated sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix yeast, warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar until yeast dissolves. Set aside. 
  2. 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 dough has a soft to medium consistency. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. 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. 
  6. Preheat oven to 375F. 
  7. Brush loaves with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 25 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom. Invert from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted with permission from Kim Ode’s Baking With the St. Paul Bread Club (Minnesota Historical Society, 2006).

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