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Cardamom Braid

The dough in this recipe is quite sticky – too sticky for a bread machine. When kneading it, Carrin Patman uses a clean powder puff to dust flour on the kneading surface, the dough and her hands. She says a steel scraper and a marble board also come in handy. She has found that letting the dough rise in the refrigerator the first time makes it less sticky, though the process takes longer. Yields: 2 loaves.

  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 3/4 c. lukewarm water
  • 3 eggs, divided
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted
  • 4 c. bread flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom seed
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 2-3 T. sugar
  • additional sugar cinnamon

Dissolve yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in 3/4 c. lukewarm water; set aside. Beat 2 eggs in large bowl of electric mixer. Add 3/4 c. sugar, and beat well. Add salt and melted butter, and beat well. Stir in yeast mixture. Combine flour with cardamom seed, and gradually add to mixing bowl, mixing well. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 5-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, adding only enough flour to the surface to keep the dough workable (or knead in mixer with dough hook). Place dough in grease bowl, turning to grease top. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place, until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours). Grease a 7 1/2 x 11 1/2-inch Pyrex dish or two 4 x 8 1/2-inch load pans, line them with parchment paper, and them grease paper; set aside. Punch dough down, turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead again for 5-10 minutes. (Note: Dough will be very sticky. Dust the work surface, dough, and your hands with just a little flour at a time, and use a light touch to handle the dough.) Divide dough in half, then divide each half into 3 pieces. Hand-roll each piece of dough into a strip about 12 inches long. (As you roll and stretch the strips into the desired length, let them rest for a minute or two occasionally, so that the dough will relax enough to hold the lengthen shape.

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