|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Lightly spiced and far less sweet than most store-bought coffee breads, Swedish Vetebröd serves as a satisfying snack to pair with your favorite brand of coffee.
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups butter (melted)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. cardamom (freshly ground from about 25 cardamom pods)
- 2 pkg./4 1/2 tsp. dry active yeast
- 9 cups flour (all-purpose, or bread flour)
- 1 egg (plus 2 tbsp. water, lightly beaten together into an egg wash)
- pearl sugar (or crushed sugar cubes) and / or chopped or slivered almonds
Prepare your basic cardamom bread dough using the first 7 ingredients listed above (this takes about 1 1/2 hours).
After punching down dough following its first rise, remove from bowl and knead lightly on a floured counter until smooth and shiny. Divide dough into two halves.
Divide each half of the dough into three equal portions. Roll each portion into a long, thin “snake” (about 18 inches long). Braid three of the “snakes” together, folding and pinching outer edges under to form a loaf shape. Repeat for the second set of three dough “snakes.” (Alternative: Do not divide dough into 2 halves, but separate entire mass into three equal portions. Roll the three portions into “snakes,” braid together, then join and pinch ends together to form a single braided bread wreath).
Place the two braided loaves (or the single braided wreath) on a greased baking sheet, cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375º.
When loaves (or wreath) have doubled, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with pearl sugar and/or almonds. Place in the middle of a preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until done.