Cardamom is definitely my favorite ingredient. I know I say a lot of things are “my favorite” when I’m posting something with said ingredient, but this is for real. Just the scent makes me happy. I’d bathe in it if it wasn’t so dang expensive. I specifically don’t make stuff with it year round, but only during the holidays, because I want to savor it during this time.
finnish cardamom sweet bread (based on this recipe)
3 to 3½ cups all-purpose flour or bread flour, or combination
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (I used oat milk), lukewarm
2 and 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/3 cup (2.66 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted but cooled to lukewarm
1 egg, lightly beaten
Add the active dry yeast to the oat milk and let sit until frothy, about 5-10 minutes.
Combine the flour, sugar, cardamom, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a whisk several times.
When the yeast/milk mixture is ready, pour it over the flour mixture, along with the butter and egg. Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a rough dough forms.
On a lightly floured work surface, transfer all contents of bowl and knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until dough is soft and smooth. Form into a ball and coat the bowl with olive oil and turn the dough ball once to coat it with oil before covering the top of the bowl to let the dough rest until doubled in size, about an hour.
After doubled in size, punch down dough and divide into 3 pieces, then form each piece into a long sausage shape that is about 15 inches long. Braid the dough like Challah and tuck the ends under the dough. Place into a greased 9″X5″ (or similar in volume) loaf pan lined with parchment paper that overhangs on two sides. Let sit for another 45 minutes to an hour until dough has risen again and is not as springy and pulls back very slowly when you indent a finger into the surface.
Brush top of the loaf with an egg wash. Bake for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees F. until dough is risen and the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees F. If top is getting too brown, but the internal temperature is not 200 degrees F., tent a piece of aluminum foil to cover the top for the remaining time in the oven. Slice only after bread has cooled at least an hour.