- Cooking Time: 25 to 30
- Preparation Time:
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp. crushed cardamom
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 8-9 cups sifted white flour
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 egg beaten 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)
- 1/2 cup crushed lump sugar (optional)
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
- Stir in the milk, sugar, salt, cardamom, eggs, and flour to make a batter.
- Beat until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Add 3 cups of the flour and beat well; the dough should be quite smooth and glossy in appearance. Add the melted butter and stir in well.
- Beat again until the dough looks glossy.
- Stir in the remaining flour until a stiff dough forms.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured board and cover with an inverted mixing bowl.
- Let the dough rest 15 minutes.
- Knead until smooth and satiny.
- Place in a lightly greased mixing bowl, turn the dough to grease the top, cover lightly, and let rise in a warm place (85º) until doubled in bulk (1 hour).
- Punch down and let rise again until almost doubled (30 minutes).
- Turn out again onto a slightly floured board, divide into 3 parts, and then divide each of these parts into 3.
- Shape each into a strip 16" inches long by rolling the dough between the palms and the board.
- Braid the 3 strips together into a straight loaf, pinch the ends together, and tuck under.
- Repeat for the second and third loaves.
- Lift the braids onto lightly greased baking sheets.
- Let rise for 20 minutes (the braids should be puffy but not doubled in size).
- Glaze the loaves by brushing with the beaten egg, and if you wish, sprinkle with the crushed sugar and the almonds.
- Bake in a hot oven (400º) 25 to 30 minutes.
- Do not over bake or the loaves will be to dry. Remove from the oven when a light golden-brown. Makes 3 braids.
- Slice to serve.
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