About this recipe:This is a recipe for a beautiful plaited loaf of sweet bread, studded with raisins and nuts and scented with cardamom. This is lovely around the festive season, and leftovers are superb toasted.
250ml warm full fat milk (43 degrees C)
75ml warm water (43 degrees C)
100g caster sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 (7g) sachet dried active baking yeast
450g plain flour, or as needed
100g caster sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cardamom
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
110g melted butter
60g chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon water
50g flaked almonds
4 tablespoons pearl sugar
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Whisk together the warm milk, warm water, sugar and 2 tablespoons melted butter in a mixing bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Sprinkle yeast over top, and set aside for 5 minutes.
Once the yeast is foamy, stir in the flour, adding more if needed to make a stiff dough. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place into an oiled bowl, cover with a cloth, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Combine 100g sugar with the cardamom and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 20x30cm rectangle, and brush with 110g of melted butter. Sprinkle with the cardamom sugar, raisins and walnuts. Roll into a log, pinch the edges closed, and place onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Cover with a cloth, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat an oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
With a sharp knife score the top layer of the roll with V-shapes that don't quite meet in the middle the whole length of the roll, this will make the bread look plaited, and is very pretty, but could be skipped. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Brush the egg wash over the top of the bread. Sprinkle with almonds and pearl sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven until the bread is golden-brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Little chunks of bright white sugar that does melt during baking, pearl sugar makes for a lovely presentation and adds a nice touch to your pastries, cakes and biscuits. It is available online and in specialty shops.
Just waiting for it too bake now. Hasn't seemed to work as I expected though. Looking through the ingredients, should there be 2 portions of 100 g of castor sugar? I'm a novice so didn't think to query this. Also didn't double in size after first proving?
Well the family enjoyed it, even had it for breakfast today. Next time I must remember to mix the sugar, milk and water before adding the sprinkling of yeast. - 29 Aug 2014