I have fond memories of coming home from school to find this bread cooling on a wire rack. I could hardly wait for a warm savory slice.—Sheryl Olstad, Rochester, New Hampshire
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 7-1/2 to 8 cups all-purpose flour
- Confectioners' sugar glaze
- Candied cherries and sliced almonds
- In a bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add milk, sugar, salt, butter, eggs, cardamom and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Punch dough down; let rest 10 minutes. Divide into 9 portions; shape each into a 12-in. strip. Place three strips on a greased baking sheet and braid, sealing ends. Repeat with remaining strips. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Cool. Glaze and decorate with cherries and almonds. Yield: 3 loaves.
Originally published as Cardamom Holiday Bread in Taste of Home December/January 1995, p41
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