Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sugar-Frosted Cardamom Braid

"The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight...Suffice it to say, then, that in the truest and least dialect way, good fresh bread and chuckling fountains are soul food." -M. F. K. Fisher

I had been thinking about cardamom bread for the past several days when I saw Nicole's post for the cardamom bread, Nisu at Arctic Garden Studio (click here). Her beautiful loaves were the inspiration for me to finally bake the cardamom braided bread I'd been thinking of. I wish I could remember where this recipe came from, but I have been making this bread for many years now, and I think all the different versions for this bread make a lovely loaf.

Sugar-Frosted Cardamom Braid

In microwave in a Pyrex measuring cup heat:
1 1/3 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. butter -cut in pieces
Do not overheat (115 degrees). Stir to dissolve sugar and melt butter.

Place in bread bowl or stand mixer bowl:
4 1/2 c. bread flour
1 T. yeast
1 t. ground cardamom
1/2 t. salt

In a small bowl beat:
1 egg
1/4 - 1/2 t. lemon extract
Add lukewarm milk mixture and egg to flour mix. Beat with dough hook or spoon until it comes together. Continue kneading, adding 1 T. at a time of flour or water as needed, 5-10 minutes to make a smooth dough. Cover bowl with cling wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size. Punch down and divide into three equal balls. Rest 5 minutes. Roll each ball into a long rope (about 20 inches). On lightly greased sheet, braid ropes together, pinching ends and tucking under loaf ends to secure. Let rise until doubled. Mix 1 egg white + 1 T. water and gently brush onto loaf. Sprinkle with 1 T. coarse raw sugar and bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Slices of this cardamom braid with Pear Vanilla Jam for breakfast this morning was a good breakfast for those I love, and definitely food for my own soul. Ruth Reichl's reminder of why food matters (click here), reinforces my own belief of why baking bread is so important to me right now -it is a big yes in a world filled with no.


  1. The loaf looks perfectly scrumcious. You are a very talented baker. YUM

  2. Tamra - I think of my grandma every time you post freshly baked bread. She baked every day and her house always smelled so good when we would visit.

  3. Pam -Thanks!

    Mel -I would bake every day if I could! Thanks for your comment and reminiscence of your grandma.

  4. Looks great. Glad I could be an inspiration.