Braided Cardamom Bread with Raisins

My talented husband is a fantastic beer brewer, barbecuer, and when he wants, bread maker.  He put this bread together yesterday afternoon – what a treat to come home after an afternoon out!

The Bread

This is a fragrant loaf, delicious for morning brunch, dessert, or with coffee.  Allow yourself a half day to make this lovely bread.

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1  package active dry yeast
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, with more for kneading
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups warm whole milk, half-and-half, or cream
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • In small bowl, place raisins in warm water to soak as you begin to make bread.

    Proof yeast by placing yeast, a pinch of sugar, and 1/4 c. warm (not hot – test with your finger) water.  The yeast has proofed when it foams – takes about 5 minutes.

    In large bowl, mix together flour, salt, sugar, and cardamom.  Drop the bits of butter into flour mixture.  Use fingers, pastry blender, or two knives to mix in butter until flour has appearance of coarse meal.  Make a well in middle of flour, and add yeast, whole egg, and milk.  Stir slowly into the outlying flour until soft ball forms.  Turn out onto floured board, knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  Note: be sure to knead enough to develop bread gluten.

    After bread is kneaded, flatten and, after draining the raisins, sprinkle raisins across top of dough.  Fold dough over to seal in raisins.  Continue kneading, adding more flour if necessary.  The raisins add a bit of liquid to the dough, so as you knead in the raisins, the dough becomes a bit more sticky.

    Form dough into ball.  Place into large, buttered bowl.  Cover and let rise in warm place about 2-3 hours, or until double in size.

    Punch down dough, but do not knead again, as you do with traditional breads.  Divide into two balls, and then divide each ball into thirds.  Roll each 1/3 ball into a strand about 15 inches long, and then use 3 strands to create a braid,  Tuck ends of braids neatly under loaf.  Place braids onto bread sheet to rise, loosely covered, another 2-3 hours.

    30 minutes before baking, set oven rack to middle, and pre-heat oven to 350 F.  As oven is preheating, make egg wash, and brush loaves with it.  Place loaves in oven and bake about 30 minutes or more, until golden brown and having a hollow sound when tapped.

    Cool on wire rack.

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    5 thoughts on “Braided Cardamom Bread with Raisins”

    1. I couldn’t agree more! Yet, I will say, that some of the low-fat recipes I have had are quite tasty. But some things, like bread and beer, just cannot be low fat at all!

    2. Hi There, I came across your page when doing research on Youtube for
      Sumi-e instructions. Your videos have been watched greatly by myself and have taught me much. I began to more searching based on you “ink, yarn, and beer” title.

      My mother and I do a lot of knitting of blankets, hats, booties, and pajama bags. I am deep into the martial arts and therefore into Sumi-e. I have been doing more of the Sumi-e of late. I used to get my supplies at Acron Planet. But it seems as if things over there have changed. I was able, in the past, to get a nice ink stone from them. Not sure if it is a “She” or a “Daun.” However, It has been in storage for years and just found it after a move and assessment of belongings. I have not used it but will soon. I am working my chops back into place on a basic sumi-e set before I go for the goods.

      I did want to make a connection to say hello. It seems as if we have a number of creative direction that are similar. And my mother loves to cook.

      Maybe we can stay in touch as I am looking to deeply increase my sumi-e skills.

      Also, wanted to ask about quality Sumi-e supplies and a supplier? I am running out of paper and will need ink soon.

      any advice?

      all the best,

      AlejAndro Anastasio

    3. Hi AlejAndro – thanks for coming by – and please do stay in touch. Because you asked questions that many have asked me, I have written up a post about resources for sumi and ink painting artists. Hope it will be helpful! –Naomi

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