April 20, 2011

Cardamom Bread Wreath

Fabulous bread for Easter morning (or any other special morning). It's subtlety flavored with cardamom and covered in glaze. The braid looks beautiful and oh so complicated, but it's just as easy as braiding hair. You will look like Martha while being as serene as Mary (Luke 10:38-42), able to sit at the feet of Jesus and worship with joy this Easter.

Cardamom Wreath
2 packages yeast
1/3 c warm water
1/2 c soft butter
3/4 c sugar
3 eggs
12 oz (1 can) evaporated milk
1/4 c sour cream
1 tbsp grated orange peel
2 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp salt
7 - 7 1/2 flour
1 c powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla or almond flavoring

Proof your yeast by sprinkling it
over the warm water in the measuring cup and let sit until foamy. In large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, milk, yeast and water, sour cream, orange peel, cardamom and salt. Mix well. Beat in 7 cups of flour to form a soft dough. At this point you can knead by hand or switch to a dough hook. Knead about 6 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding only small amounts of flour to keep it from sticking. Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.
Punch down dough, let it sit (rest) for about 30 minutes. Then divide into 6 portions. Shape each portion into a 24" long rope. Please three of the ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid into one long rope. Then shape the straight rope into a circle, pinching the ends together to form one continuous ring. Cover again and let rise about 45 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
Combine milk, powdered sugar and vanilla in small bowl. Whisk until smooth and pour over wreath after it's cooled completely.
This recipe makes two loaves, one to keep and one to share with a neighbor along with the Good News of Easter morning: Jesus died and rose again so that our sins would be forgiven, allowing us to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Other Easter items you might also be interested in: a Spring Table Setting, a Sedar Plate meal, or this lamb "tracing" cake.

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