Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tempting Tea Bread

If you can braid hair, you can braid bread. It really is that simple, and I particularly like looking more impressive than I actually am. This sweet bread is fantastic served with tea or coffee, and if you're not a fan of cardamom you could switch it up and use cinnamon instead. Cardamom is a standard ingredient in Scandinavian baking, and for me it gives a nice warm, wintry feel to this bread. Because I don't have a bread machine due to space constraints in my small apartment, I headed over to my parent's today to make this.

Cardamom Tea Bread:
1 cup/250 ml milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp softened butter
3 cups/460g plain flour
1/3 cup/70g sugar
1 pkg/7g active dry yeast
3 tsp ground cardamom

1 egg white, slightly beaten
pearl sugar or other decorative sugar

Add all the ingredients into the bread machine and select the 'Dough' cycle. Remember to keep aside the remaining egg white, as you'll need it for the top. Once complete, separate the dough into 3 equal portions and roll them into 30-35cm/12-14" long ropes. Braid them together as shown in the photos.

Preheat your oven to 375F/190C. Put the braided dough onto a greased baking sheet and allow it to rise until doubled in size. This works particularly well in the warming drawer of your oven, if you have one. If not, just find a warm place and cover with a tea towel until risen.

Brush the dough with egg white to cover all exposed areas, and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake until golden brown, around 20-25 minutes. Watch carefully near the end, as mine turned out a little too dark this time because I wasn't paying attention.

1 comment:

  1. I found your blog on tastespotting. My mom makes about a dozen of these loaves every year at christmas time and gives them as gifts. They're really delicious!