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Swedish Cardamom Braids

"Swedish people love their coffee—especially with this classic coffee cake. The recipe came from my father's aunt, and I can remember my mother crushing cardamom seeds to make it. Back then, you couldn't buy cardamom already ground." —Harriet Meola, Mauldin, South Carolina
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 loaves (12 slices each)

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1-1/4 cups warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 to 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • TOPPING:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter, sugar, egg yolks, cardamom, salt and 3 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; divide in half. Divide each half into three portions. On a lightly floured surface, shape each portion into a 16-in.-long 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 45 minutes.
  • Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks. Brush warm loaves with butter. Combine the pecans, sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over loaves.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 175 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 39mg cholesterol, 54mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.
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