Friday, April 2, 2010

Braided Cardamom Loaves

It's just about Easter again and if you don't feel like making hot cross buns for your Sunday brunch, may I suggest you bake up a few braided cardamom loaves. I got the recipe from the current Saveur (thank you, Dad, for the subscription), where they say this bread is eaten with coffee or tea in Finland. There is no reason it cannot be eaten with coffee or tea in the comfort of your own home.
In the comments section of this recipe in the online version of Saveur there is some question about the amount of flour called for. I used the 6 1/2 cups in the recipe and had no problems. I think what it comes down to is properly measuring your flour. You'll want to fluff up your flour, spoon it into the measuring cup until it is slightly overflowing, and then even it off with the back of a knife. Don't, under any circumstances, scoop up the flour with the measuring cup--it will become too compact in the cup and, yes, it'll seem like the recipe calls for way too much flour. This is why I prefer recipes that give quantities by weight. No questions there.
The recipe says it yields two loaves, but I divided the dough farther to make six 8-ounce loaves. If you choose to do the same, check your loaves after 15 minutes and give them a bit more time if needed. My first batch needed 20 minutes and my second batch had just started to get a bit too brown after the same amount of time. In any case, these smaller loaves are ideal for tying up in colored string and giving to your neighbors (or your mother's neighbors, in my case). If you have any leftover I have a feeling they'd make a star bread pudding or scrumptious French toast.

No comments: