Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cardamom Bread


1 1/2 Tbsp instant yeast
4 cups flour
1 and 1/4 cups lukewarm milk  (about 115 degrees)
3/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom

Egg Wash:
1 tsp Cardamom
1 tbsp. heavy cream
1 egg yolk

Sugar for garnish


Mix flour, yeast, and cardamom in a large bowl and stir until foamy.  Set aside.

Heat milk, remove from heat and stir in sugar until dissolved.  Add to the flour mixture. Add 1/2 cup melted butter and mix on low (if you are using a mixer)  or by hand with a wooden spoon until a nice sticky dough forms.

Change out the mixer blade and use a dough hook. Knead for a few minutes and then stop. Let the dough rest for about 20 minutes with a light cover over it (I use a plate and just stick it over the top of the mixing bowl).  This is basically your breads "afternoon nap" during which the gluten relaxes and absorbs moisture.

When the twenty minutes is up, knead again, adding in salt, with the hook or by hand on a lightly floured board until the dough is smooth to the touch and elastic.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into three dough balls.  Let rise for 40 minutes. Roll each chunk of dough  into ropes and braid them on the greased baking pan. Tuck the ends of the braid under.

Mix ingredients for egg wash and brush on loaf and sprinkle it with sugar. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven until golden brown (about 30 minutes).

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