created: 2005-01-24 14:16:48
This is great breakfast bread. Good toasted with butter or not toasted with butter. Goes really well with a good strong cup of coffee or espresso. REALLY good with that fancy-ass, extra high fat content European butter. This recipe makes three braided loaves which is alot, but they freeze well and make nice gifts. I tried to halve the recipe once and it came out crappy, you may have better luck.
From cooks.com 1 1/2 c. milk 2 tsp. active yeast 1/2 c. warm water 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar Whole cardamom ground to make 1 tsp. freshly ground cardamom 4 eggs, beaten lightly 1 c. granulated sugar 1 tsp. salt 8 c. unbleached flour 1/2 c. clarified unsalted butter In small saucepan scald milk and cool. Sprinkle yeast over warm water and stir in 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Grind cardamom. Beat milk, eggs, 1 cup sugar, cardamom and salt. Place 8 cups of flour in bowl and place yeast in center. Stir around edge of yeast mixture. Slowly add egg - milk continuing to add flour from edges once there is a smooth creamy looking dough in center of bowl, let dough stand for few minutes covered with a cloth. Stir in melted butter. Then remaining flour. Put dough on floured surface and knead until dough is smooth. Heat glass bowl. Grease bowl and place dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap, let stand until doubled. Punch down again and let rise again. Divide dough in 3 equal parts. Knead each part lightly to remove air bubbles. Divide each of the 3 parts into 3 equal parts. Roll each part into 10-12 inch ropes, out of 9 lengths. Use 3 ropes to make 1 braided loaf. Place loaves on a greased baking sheet and let rise until loaves double in size. 45 minutes to 1 hour. Brush each braided loaf with an egg wash (1 part egg white to 3 parts water.) Bake loaves in 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown. Note: If you dont want to braid the loaves you can make three round or oval loaves and bake them on a baking sheet for the same amount of time. It tastes just as good. Optional: Rub top of bread with butter right out of the oven and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.