Traditional Finnish Coffee Bread
- 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast ( original recipe specifies one package but I use 2)
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 2 cups milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 -12 cardamom pods, seeded and crushed, depending on how strong a cardamom flavor you like ( I use 10-12)
- 5 eggs, beaten, divided ( 1 egg is used for glaze)
- 8 -10 cups flour
- 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, melted
- 1/4 cup sugar, for glazing braids ( or less)
- Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl.
- Stir in milk, sugar, salt, cardamom, 4 eggs, and 2 cups of flour.
- Stir until dough is smooth.
- Add 3 cups of flour and stir well.
- Stir in melted butter or margarine.
- Stir in 2-3 cups more flour or until you have a stiff dough.
- Turn dough out onto a floured bread board and cover with inverted bowl.
- Let rest for 15 minutes.
- Knead dough until smooth and satiny (8-10 minutes).
- Place dough in large lightly greased bowl, turning to grease top.
- Cover with plastic wrap and/or towel.
- Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled (1-2 hours).
- Punch dough down.
- Let dough rise again until almost double (30 minutes- 1 hour).
- Turn out onto floured board.
- Divide dough into thirds, working with only one third at a time.
- Divide (one- third of dough) into three parts.
- With your hands roll each part into one 18"strand.
- Braid the three stands together to form one braid, tucking ends under.
- Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
- Let rise 20-30 minutes until puffy.
- Repeat with other two parts (each one-third of original dough).
- You will have three braids when finished.
- Brush braids with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake in 400°F oven for 20-30 minutes or until braids are light brown.
Recipe provided by food.com - This recipe is a Traveland employee Christmas favorite