Monday, December 7, 2009

Cardamom Bread

I might christen this carda-yum bread! It's easy and delicious and it makes the kitchen both warm and wonderful-smelling! (All of these things are pluses.)

This recipe comes from the Razor Family Farms blog-- and has only slight alterations, but I'll repost it anyways...

4 c. AP flour
1/2 T. cardamom
1 1/2 T. yeast
1 1/4 c. warm milk (soy or dairy) or water or some combination-- I usually use 3/4 c. soymilk and 1/2 c. water
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1 shy t. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

Mix flour and cardamom in a large bowl (of your mixer, if you'd like). Dissolve sugar and then yeast in warm liquid. Pour into dry stuff and mix until doughy. Add oil and mix until doughy again (and oily--it won't all absorb yet). Cover with a plate and let rest for 20 minutes.

Thoroughly knead in the salt (I use my hands, but you could use the dough hook), and extra flour as needed to achieve the right consistency. (Like most dough, it should feel like an earlobe-- warm and elastic and soft.) Oil a baking sheet. Divide dough into thirds and place far apart on the baking sheet. Cover with a damp tea towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes, or until almost doubled in bulk. (This will take many hours if your house is chilly-- try preheating the oven for just 30 seconds and letting it rise there, with the oven light on-- ideal rising temperature is around 90 degrees F.)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Roll each dough lump into a long snake and braid together. Pinch the ends together firmly and fold them under.

Brush the braid with beaten egg and bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Sometimes I make two smaller braided loaves and they only take about 20 minutes. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes before you cut into it (it's torturous) for best texture later on. Enjoy!

The picture doesn't really do it justice...

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