I came across this recipe in 1983 and have been making it for Christmas ever since. One year, I gave away 20 loaves!
- 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons milk, divided
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, cardamom and salt. In a small saucepan, heat 1-1/2 cups milk, butter and honey to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add eggs; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough (dough will be sticky).
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Divide each portion into thirds. Shape each into a 14-in. rope. Place three ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Brush with remaining milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 loaves (20 slices each).
Originally published as Cardamom Braids in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2007, p51
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