Braided Finnish cardamom bread
Author: Jen
From 'The Complete Book of Breads' by Bernard Clayton, Jr.
  1. PREP, 15 min. In large bowl, mix 3 C of the flour and all yeast. Add water, cardamom, sugar, salt and butter. Blend well. Add egg. Beat 100 strokes with a wooden spoon. Add remaining flour slowly. Work in with hands if necessary.
  2. KNEAD, 8 min. Dough should be soft, but not sticky. Add flour if so. Turn from bowl into lightly floured surface and knead for 8 minutes.
  3. RISE, 1 hour. Place dough in a buttered bowl. Flip dough, so it, too, is lightly covered with butter on all sides. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for the dough to rise until it has doubled in size.
  4. PREP, 10 min. Punch down the dough. Let it rest, covered in plastic wrap, for 10 minutes.
  5. SHAPE, 15 min. Divide the dough in half. For each half, divide into three equal parts for braid. On floured surface, roll out each piece to a 12 inch long rope. Place ropes on greased baking sheet and braid from the middle to one end. Braid second end. Tuck ends under the loaf. Repeat for second portion of dough. Cover with wax paper or lightly with plastic wrap.
  6. RISE, 45 min. Place in a warm place until the bread has doubled in size.
  7. PREP, 5 min. Mix the glaze and brush lightly on top of the bread. It will create a nice glossy, brown finish. (No pun intended.)
  8. BAKE, 25-30 min. In preheated oven to 400 degrees. The recipe says bake for 45 minutes. But both times I've made this, it's been done around 25 minutes ... and you don't want dry bread! So: bake until golden brown.
  9. COOL, 10 min. Let cool on wire racks before serving. Or, like me, eat it immediately with butter.
  10. (Makes two loaves.)
Recipe by Wine and a Spoon at