Monday, January 18, 2016

Cardamom Bread My Grandmother's Way

When my grandmother passed away I was in to cooking but not bread baking so much and had never watched her make the sweet bread/coffee cake that I grew up eating at her house. So when my mom was going through her things and found the recipe for her Cardamon Bread and gave me a copy I was stoked and thought all I had to do was pop in the kitchen and get started!

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!



INGREDIENTS:
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
EGG WASH
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons cream
FROSTING/GLAZE
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water

STEP 1
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.
STEP 2
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.
STEP 3
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.
STEP 4
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.
STEP 5
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!
STEP 6
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.
STEP 7
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.
STEP 8
Remove from oven and let cool completely. Whisk together powdered sugar and water for the glaze Drizzle the glaze over the pastry.



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