Monday, February 18, 2013

Cardamom Braid

   

       It's monday again! I hope everyone had a good weekend. I've got the boys home this week for spring break and I'm just loving it :) We started the morning off with waffles and then I whipped up a new dough recipe and will be sharing it soon.

I first want to share this recipe that has turned into a family favorite. I am fairly new to the sweet bread recipes and have a mile long list of ones I want to bake..like cinnamon rolls! The more bread recipes I bake the more in love with it I become. The whole process brings me immense joy thats hard to explain to anyone who doesn't enjoy bread baking. I just love it.

A friend shared this recipe with me a few months back. She and I have come to love the flavor of cardamom and we are forever sharing links with one another on facebook to recipes that use it. I find that cardamom goes hand in hand with fruit or nut based recipes..they seem to love one another. 

         

        This recipe pairs the cardamom with shredded orange peel and the taste is out of this world. The loaf is so soft and tender and the orange taste shines bright. We all loved it and I'm ashamed to say that the loaf never saw lunchtime. Actually..who am I kidding? I'm not ashamed at all. We inhaled this sweet bread in record time :)

Cardamom Braid

1 pkg Active Dry Yeast..2-1/4 tsp.
1 tsp. Sugar
1/4 cup Warm Water (105-115 degrees)
3/4 cup Warm Milk (105-115 degrees)
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Butter,melted and cooled
2 TBS Vegetable Oil
1 TBS Finely Shredded Orange Peel
3/4 tsp. Ground Cardamom
1/2 tsp. Salt
3-1/2- 4 cups All-purpose Flour
Coarse granulated sugar

In a small mixing bowl,dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in the warm water; set aside for 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm milk, 1/2 cup sugar, melted butter,oil,orange zest,cardamom and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until combined. Stir in 1 cup of the flour. Add yeast mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in 2 cups flour, one cup at a time. ( The dough should be slightly wet) Cover; let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3-5 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl,turning once to grease the surface. Cover;let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to  1-1/4 hours.

Punch dough down. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Divide dough into thirds. Shape each portion ino a 14-inch-long rope. Place ropes 1 inch apart on a lightly greased baking sheet or a parchment lined baking sheet. Starting in the middle,loosely braid to each end. Pinch the ends to seal and tuck under loaf. Cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled, about 1 hour. Lightly brush or mist top of braids with water; sprinkles with coarse sugar.

    

Pre heat oven to 375 or 190 celcius. Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when you tap the top ( internal temp should be 180 degrees). If the bread starts to overbrown,cover loosely with foil during the last 10 minutes of baking. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on wire rack.

Yield: 1 beautiful braided loaf
Source: Midwest Living