- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- 2-1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 7 to 7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon 2% milk
- Toasted sliced almonds
- Coarse or granulated sugar
- CARDAMOM BUTTER:
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
- 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 3 eggs, evaporated milk, yeast mixture, sour cream, orange peel, cardamom, salt and 6 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- 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 1 hour.
- Punch dough down; turn onto a floured surface. Divide into six portions. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Shape each portion into a 24-in. rope. Place three ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid. Form into a ring; pinch ends tightly together. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Beat milk and remaining egg; brush over wreaths. Sprinkle with almonds and sugar. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cardamom butter ingredients until blended. Serve with bread. Yield: 2 loaves (2 cups butter).
Originally published as Cardamom Wreath in Taste of Home December/January 2002, p27
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