Makes 3 loaves.
Ingredients: 2 pkgs. active dry yeast 3/4 cup warm water 13 oz can undiluted evaporated milk, heated to 110°F 1/2 to 1 cup sugar 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon (or more) crushed cardamom seeds 4 eggs, beaten 1/2 cup softened butter 8 to 9 cups all purpose flour egg mixed with milk for glaze pearl sugar, sliced almonds or plain sugar for decoration Method: Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the milk, sugar, salt, cardamom, eggs and enough flour to make a batter (about 2 cups). Beat until dough is smooth and elastic. Add about 3 cups of flour and beat well. Dough should be smooth and glossy in appearance. Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until dough is stiff. Add the butter; beat until dough looks glossy again. Turn out onto floured board, cover with inverted mixing bowl. Let rest for 15 minutes. Knead until smooth and satiny. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turn dough to grease top, cover lightly and let rise in warm place (about 85°F) until doubled. Punch down; let rise again. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, divide into 3 parts, and divide each part into three. Shape each piece of dough into a strip 16 inches long by rolling between palms and board. Braid 3 strips together into a straight loaf and pinch the ends together and tuck under. Repeat for second and third loaves. Place on lightly greased baking sheets. Let rise until puffy (1/2 to 1 hour). Glaze loaves with a mixture of beaten egg and milk. Sprinkle with pearl sugar, crushed loaf sugar (sugar cubes) and or sliced almonds. Bake at 400 ° for 25-30 minutes. Do not overbake or loaves will be dry.
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