NOT.....first I had to figure out how to convert the fresh cube of yeast into those little packets of dried yeast....hey this was before I even owned a computer so I actually had to go to the library! But even then the bread just didn't turn out like Mormor's. Then I had a bit of an Epiphany....I had never seen my grandmother EVER measure anything with a measuring cup...she would use her hand or a tea cup and I suddenly realized that's probably how she measured ingredients for the cardamom bread too!
OK so while making it again I just tried to remember the sweetness, and moistness and intensity of cardamom that Mormor's bread had and...YES after more sugar, more butter and more cardamom I had a moister dough that baked up JUST LIKE HER"S!!!!
I have made this many times since and have taken great care to convert the measuring by eyeball to actual standard measurements because I want my family to be able to enjoy Mormor's Swedish cardamom Bread for generations to come!
I want to share the how to video which I made at the Sears Kenmore Kitchen in Chicago with you as a tribute to the sweetest grandmother on earth! Mormor you always made me feel special, loved and that I could do no wrong. Thank you for being the bright spot in my childhood!
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 packets quick rise yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water with a pinch of sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water
Heat milk on medium heat to scalding. (Do not boil) Stir in the butter and sugar until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour into a mixing bowl and cool to lukewarm. Mix in the large egg and then yeast mixture.
Blend in salt and 2 tablespoons cardamom. Add 2 cups of the flour. Then gradually add more flour until a soft dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead dough for 7 to 10 minutes until smooth. I do this step in food processor with dough hook for 10 minutes. The dough should remain soft, so do not add too much flour.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 45 minutes to an hour; the dough should have doubled in size.
At this point you will make simple braided bread. Punch down the dough, divide in half, and then divide each half into 3 equal parts. Roll the dough pieces into ropes, braid them, and tuck the ends under. This is the way my daughter Marina likes it best!
Cover lightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm area for about 40 minutes to an hour so the dough can have a second rising.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Whisk together the egg yolks and cream and brush over the dough. Bake for 25-30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes of baking, if the top is browned, tent with aluminum foil.
Remove from oven and let cool completely. Whisk together powdered sugar and water for the glaze Drizzle the glaze over the pastry.