- 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
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
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. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add as much of the remaining 3/4 cup flour as needed, kneading until the dough is smooth.
Return to the bowl and dust 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. 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, until the dough springs back about halfway when lightly pressed, about 1 hour 15 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 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack to let cool to room temperature, then slice and serve.
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