Sunday, December 11, 2011

Swedish Cardamom Wreath for Saint Lucia Day (Christmas Bread) - Margaret Ullrich

What's a holiday without a fancy bread?

This is a lovely loaf of holiday bread.
And it's Swedish.

If you're baking ahead, the dough can be frozen.
Allow the braids to thaw and rise before baking.
The baked braids can be frozen, uniced.
Warm them in the microwave and ice.
Who's to know? 

Serve a wreath on December 13.
At a decent hour.
Who really wants to wake up at 3 a.m. anyway?

For an extra touch, bruise a couple of cardamom seeds and add them to 
the coffee grounds while brewing.
Happy Saint Lucia Day!

                        Swedish Cardamom Wreath

Grease 2 large baking sheets

In a small pot, melt and cool
3/4 Cup margarine

In a large bowl combine
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/4 Cup warm water
Let sit 10 minutes

Stir in
2 1/2 Cups warm milk
the melted margarine
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Cup sugar
2 teaspoons cardamom
7 - 7 1/2 Cups flour

Mix until blended.
Knead thoroughly, about 20 minutes.
Place dough in a greased bowl and let rise 2 hours.

Divide the dough into six even pieces.
Roll a piece between your hands into a 24 inch rope.
Take 3 ropes, fasten together at one end, make a braid, form the braid 
into a wreath and tuck the loose ends under the fastened end.
Place the braid on the cookie sheet.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
Cover and let rise 40 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350ยบ
Bake 40 minutes until lightly golden.
Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes.

1 Cup confectioners' sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

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