Finnish Cardamom Coffee Bread

Finnish Cardamom Coffee Bread

Recipe Rating: 3.54615
Makes 2 loaves
Serve this cardamom-scented bread toasted and spread with butter alongside strong coffee on early winter mornings. This bread also freezes well. Wrap in plastic wrap and then foil for the best results.
  • 2 (0.25-ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, divided
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting and kneading
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 15 crushed cardamom pods, hulls removed and discarded, seeds coarsely ground
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In a large bowl, combine yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar with 1/4 cup warm water. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in milk and set aside to let cool to lukewarm.

Lightly beat one of the eggs. Stir beaten egg and reserved milk mixture into bubbly yeast mixture.

In a small bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar, salt and cardamom. Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture gradually, stirring with a wooden spoon. Mixture should be smooth and elastic. If not, add as much of the remaining 3/4 cup flour as needed.

Dust dough in bowl with a bit more flour, then cover bowl with a dish towel and set aside in a warm place to let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

With floured hands, punch down dough and transfer to a lightly-floured surface. Knead  with your hands until smooth, working in more flour if needed so that dough is just slightly sticky. Divide dough into 6 equal ropes, each about 12 inches long.

Braid 3 ropes loosely into a loaf, tucking loose ends underneath to secure. Repeat with remaining ropes to create 2 loaves total. Transfer loaves to a nonstick or lightly greased baking sheet, arranging them at least 6 inches apart. Cover loaves with a dish towel and set aside in a warm place to let rise again, 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly beat remaining egg. Brush braided, risen loaves with egg and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack to let cool to room temperature, then slice and serve.
Nutritional Info: 
Per Serving: Serving size: About 1 slice, 90 calories (30 from fat), 3.5g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 25mg cholesterol, 45mg sodium, 13g carbohydrates, 2g protein.
Special Diets: 

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