A recipe that I found in one of my favorite magazines, Saveur. This recipe is simple and the flavors and aroma when baking is perfection. I have adopted this recipe (no changes) as one of my own and I am happy to share it with all of you. —cucina di mammina
- Makes 2 braided sweet breads
- For the dough:
1 1/3 cups
lactose-free or whole milk; warmed to approx. 115 degrees fahrenheit
whole organic eggs, slightly beaten
6 1/2 cups
all purpose unbleached flour
unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes, at room temperature
- for the glaze:
organic coarse sugar (sprinkle liberally on top after glaze is brushed on)
Optional: Add some strong brewed coffee to the glaze for additional flavor boost
- Measure out the sugar, dry yeast, 3 tsp. of the ground cardamom and the warmed milk. Blend slowly and let sit until yeast starts to foam.
- Add in the slightly beaten eggs and mix well with mixer.
- Slowly begin adding the flour and mix well; add in the salt and more flour until all is mixed and combined.
- A few chunks at a time, begin adding in the softened butter and mix until blended in completely; do this with all the butter slowly blending until the butter has disappeared into the dough.
- Once the butter is all mixed in and blended well; remove the formed dough from the mixer bowl and place in a large deep oiled bowl and cover with top with wrap.
- Allow to rest and rise for one hour or so.
- After completing the one hour rise; remove the wrap and punch down the dough and cover bowl with wrap and let rest and rise for approx. 30 minutes or so.
- Line two baking trays with parchment paper or use a silpat liner. Place the prepared dough on a work board and cut the dough into two equal segments.
- Cover one segment and cut this segment into three equal size pieces.
- Very lightly flour the surface of the work board and begin to roll out the first of the three sections into a 1? thick or so rope about 16? or so in length.
- Roll out the other two segments in this same manner.
- Lay the three ropes down on the board vertically and overlap and connect the tops.
- Now begin to “braid” the dough using the three segments overlapping and wrapping as you go.
- Pinch the bottom of the ropes together at the end and set on top of the baking sheet.
- Repeat this process to create the second braid with the remaining dough.
- Place on prepared baking sheet. Mix together your glaze ingredients (brewed coffee optional)
- Brush the tops of both braids with the mixture and sprinkle both liberally with the coarse sugar.
- Bake one loaf at a time for approximately 20 to 25 minutes in a 375 degree oven;
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly; serve warm immediately or freeze in well sealed plastic bags to serve later. This recipe makes a lovely hostess gift for the spring season and Easter holiday to come.