Saturday, December 27, 2008

Six-day Weekend, Five Loaves of Bread

25 December: Finnish Coffee Braid
26 December: Oatmeal-Honey Bread
27 December: Hawaiian Bread
28 December: none
29 December: All-Whole Wheat Bread
30 December: Sesame Semolina

Finnish Coffee Braid
recipe from mom, who got it from a college friend
we usually had this for Christmas breakfast
adapted for the bread machine
makes 2 small loaves

3 cups bread flour
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup soft butter
5 whole cardamom pods, seeds removed and pounded with a mortar and pestle, or whirled in a coffee grinder
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
1/3 cup quartered candied cherries
scant 1/4 cup raisins
sugar for sprinkling
chopped almonds for sprinkling

Put all the ingredients up through the yeast in the pan of the bread maker in the order specified in the manual. Process on dough mode. If you have a raisin "beep", put the candied cherries and raisins in then. If not, knead them in when the dough is done.

Put parchment paper on a baking sheet. [I like the two-layer kind with the air between for bread.] Divide the dough in half, then each half into thirds. Spin each third between your palms until you have a rope about 12" long. Lay out the ropes parallel to each other and braid, tucking the ends under. Repeat with the other 3 ropes. Let raise until doubled.

Brush each loaf with slightly beaten egg. Sprinkle with sugar [coarse sugar is pretty] and chopped almonds. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

note: check the dough in the bread machine after it has mixed for a while. If it is really gummy, add a tablespoon or so of flour. If it is dry and lumpy, and the motor seems to be working to hard, add a tablespoon or so of water.


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