A beautiful fragrant loaf infused with lemon and cardamom. Braided Sweet Bread is an Easter tradition at our house, and it also makes the most wonderful French Toast! Give it a try, it’s as easy as braiding your hair!
In a small saucepan, whisk together the following ingredients over low heat. Continue stirring just until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Do not boil. Set aside to cool.
- 1-1/3 cups 1% milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp. powdered lemon peel
- 1/2 tsp. powdered cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Whisk together 4-1/2 cups bread flour and 2-1/4 tsp. active dry yeast. When the milk mixture has cooled to room temperature, combine it with the flour, yeast and one beaten egg. Knead the dough on speed 2 for 5 minutes. It will be smooth and supple.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, turning to coat.
Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
When the dough has doubled, divide it into 3 equal portions. Gently roll each portion into a long rope, about 20″ long and 1-1/2″ wide. Lay the ropes side by side on a cutting board. Now braid the dough, and tuck the ends underneath.
Transfer the braid to a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, or use a non-stick baking mat. Cover the braid with plastic wrap and allow it to rise for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375º. Just before baking, whisk together 1 tbsp. of egg white with a little water. Brush over the entire loaf and bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes.
Isn’t that gorgeous? Transfer the loaf to a rack and cool completely. This large beautiful loaf will feed a crowd! Did I mention that it makes great French toast?
The Extruded Noodle ©