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Author Notes: In search of the breads once baked in my grandmother's kitchen, I've been experimenting with several diffferent breads. I found some old notes for a Finnish braided bread scented with cardamom, I added a few extra egg yolks and dried currants to form this variation. Cardamom is a common spice for Finns and greater Scandinavia. —midnitechef
Makes: 3 small loaves
For the bread
cups whole milk
tablespoon dry active yeast
cup warm water
teaspoon ground cardamom
cups bread flour
cup dried currants
For the icing
cup confectioner's sugar
teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a small bowl combine the yeast and water, let stand for 10 minutes until frothy.
- Meanwhile, warm the milk over low heat until it is steaming. Remove from the heat and add the butter, sugar and salt and stir until dissolved.
- Pour the milk mixture into a large bowl and beat in the eggs, yolks, 1 1/2 cups of the flour, cardamom and finally the yeast. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Stir in the flour gradually, beating well to incorporate the flour. Add the currants after the first addition of flour. Knead for 8 minutes then coat with oil to rise for an hour or until doubled in bulk.
- Punch down the dough to release the gases and divide into three equal parts. Start with the first third of the dough, lightly roll into a rope then cut into three. Braid the three pieces and place on a baking sheet. Repeat to the other two lumps of dough. Let the braided loaves rest and rise for 45 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC) and bake for 30 minutes.
- Mix the icing sugar and vanilla until well combined to form a sweet sauce. Drizzle over cooled loaves.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Holiday Confection
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Picnic Dish
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Cardamom