This is a single, 1-1/2 pound bread-machine loaf that is fancier if
baked free-form. Mostly, I've baked it for family gatherings; not
much at other times. It's deliciously sweet, great for breakfast. The
instructions are for a Hitachi B201.
Swedish Cardamom Bread
3/8 cup golden raisins
1 to 2 Tbsp dried orange zest (instructions later)
1/2 cup water. Include the orange zest soaking water. I also prefer
potato water -- the water left over from boiling potatoes.
3/8 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp honey
1-1/2 tsp yeast
3 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
3 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 egg yolk or whole egg for glaze
You'll need the zest (the orange part of the rind) from several
oranges. A zester can be used to cut off the zest. Dry the little
strings overnight on a large plate. Another method is to slice off
the orange part of the rind, trim off as much of the white stuff as
possible, then julienne the orange zest.
Soak the dried orange zest in 2 ounces hot water for several minutes
until soft. Drain the water into a measuring cup and add potato water
or tap water. Add the zest at the same time as the flour. Pick over
Menu Selection: Mix Bread (this bakes the bread in the machine,
allowing the raisins to be dropped in when it beeps), or Bread
plus Knead and First Rise cycle.
If baking a free-form loaf using the Knead and First Rise cycle, add
the raisins 4 to 8 minutes minutes before the rise starts (set a timer
for 24 to 26 minutes). Or knead them in before shaping the dough.
Divide the dough into two parts, 2/3 and 1/3 of the total. Separate
each part into 3 pieces (total, 6 pieces). Roll the three larger
pieces into 14 to 16-inch long "logs" and the three smaller pieces
slightly shorter and much skinnier.
Starting in the middle, braid the three parts together, first one end,
then the other. Make two braids. Pinch the ends of the braids and
tuck under slightly to make sure they don't open up while rising or
Place the larger braid on a greased cookie sheet. Then the smaller
braid on top of the larger. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let
rise until doubled. After the rise, brush the top with egg yolk for a
dark glaze, or a whole egg for a slightly lighter one. Mix the
egg or yolk with a bit of water and a shake of salt.
Bake for 40 minutes at 350 F. Cover with foil after 15 minutes, even if
the crust looks light.
Bob Stedfeld (firstname.lastname@example.org)