Cardamom and lots of fruit enliven this unique holiday bread. The recipe was handed down from my grandmother, who came to the United States from Denmark when she was 16 years old.
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 2 cups warm milk (110° to 115°)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 8-1/2 to 9 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup chopped candied fruit
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 tablespoons cold butter
- In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, sugar, butter, shortening, salt, cardamom, eggs and 4 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in raisins, candied fruit and 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 1-1/4 hours.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 12x9-in. rectangle. Brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar to within 1/2-in. of edges. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal and tuck ends under. Place, seam side down, in two greased 9x5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°. For topping, combine sugar, flour and cardamom; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over loaves. Bake 50-60 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves.
Originally published as Danish Julekage in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2001, p14
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