Comfort food and mindful moments in ever-changing times.
This cardamom bread is baked every so often in our home, for the past years. Soft, delicious and with a beautiful aroma. I also practice my braiding skills with this dough from time time, trying out different shapes and sizes (here’s a round 4-strand loaf). Kneading and baking create moment of calm for me these days.
Lastly, the recipe calls for pearl sugar topping, so if you want you can make your own with this recipe. I don’t always use a topping, so I noted it as optional in the ingredients.
Take care, stay nourished and be safe. x
Swedish Cardamom Bread
Makes 2 large loaves or 4 small ones
2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 packets active dry yeast
6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cardamom
2 large eggs, divided
1 tbsp whole milk
2 tbsp pearl sugar (optional)
In a small saucepan, combine the milk and sugar and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add butter, over medium low heat and stir gently, until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat.
Allow the milk mixture to cool to the temperature of a warm bath and stir in the yeast. Allow the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes to make sure the yeast is active. You should see bubbles on the surface and the mixture should grow in volume.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the milk mixture. Add 2 cups of the flour, and the salt, cardamom, and 1 of the eggs. Mix until combined.
Add 3 more cups of the flour and stir until it is completely incorporated. Add the remaining 1 cup of flour a little at a time until the dough forms a ball and is no longer super sticky when lightly touched. You might not need the entire last cup of flour.
Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough and knead for 1-2 minutes on a floured surface, and let rest for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into six equal balls. Roll each ball into a rope, about 38 cm long. Line up three dough ropes side by side on the counter in front of you. Pinch the top edges together and gently braid the three ropes into a loaf. When you reach the end, pinch the bottom edges together and tuck it beneath the loaf. Repeat with the other three dough ropes to make a second loaf.
Place each loaf on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and let it rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
To make an egg wash, whisk the remaining 1 egg and the milk together. Brush the top and sides of both loaves with the egg wash and then sprinkle each loaf with 1 tablespoon pearl sugar if you want.
Bake the loaves for about 20 minutes until browned on top.
Allow them to cool before serving and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from A Cozy Kitchen via Scandinavian Gatherings book.