Boys and girls, it's just been a good day! What can I say...woke up early and went for a nice power walk through the morning mist, then enjoyed some Almond
Amaretto waffles (ok, one waffle) with one of David's new fave kitchen toys.
Spent most of the Jesus part of the morning daydreaming about what kinds of goodies I'm going to make for Easter. (Hey, that's religious, right?) I'm thinking of giving Pete's a run for their money and making my own magical chocolate dipped marshmallows.
All that sweet thinking made me want to get a little down and dirty when I got home. In the KITCHEN...jeez, minds out of gutter, please. We'd talked about making some of Dad's spaghetti sauce for a treat post-soccer game (D's, not mine--are you kidding?), but I felt like something a little more labor intensive too. I decided to pull out Dad's trusty Cardamom Bread recipe. Don't listen to those Atkins diet crazies, carbs rule.
Father May's Cardamom Bread
(makes two loaves)
Melt two tblsp butter slowly in a saucepan and turn burner off. Add one cup of milk to pan. Pour mixture into large bowl and add two eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tsp salt, two packages of active dry yeast, one tsp crushed cardamom and one cup flour. Mix for two minutes with a wooden spoon. Gradually add 3.5 to 4 more cups of flour (the variation is dependent on how moist the dough appears to you). Dough will be sticky but not dry.
Place dough on a floured board or counter and knead by hand for five to ten minutes, really stretching and mixing the dough well. Have a greased bowl (use shortening or Baking Pam) ready. The bowl should be large enough to allow dough to double in size. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap so it does not dry out. Put bowl inside unheated oven for about an hour.
After an hour, remove dough from bowl, punch down and divide in half. Set one half aside. Take the other half, divide into three pieces and braid. You can also form the loaf without braiding. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough and place each loaf on a greased cookie sheet.
Brush/sprinkle the tops of the loaves with milk. The dough will be springy and soft, so handle with care. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the loaves. Cover loosely with
plastic wrap (I always just save the plastic wrap from the bowl) and place in a warm spot for 45 minutes (not the oven).
Set oven to 350 degrees. Once heated, bake loaves for approximately 30-35 minutes. If done, they will sound hollow when you tap them. Place on a rack to cool before wrapping. Or inhaling, as we tend to do.
I'm still perfecting my bread making skillZ but this loaves are looking pretty nice, don't you think? They took longer to bake than expected, which in my opinion is better than shorter. I have a feeling it has to do with my kickass new cookie sheet.
Just measure before you order. Lucky for us it is EXACTLY the right width for our little antique oven.
Oh, and here's a shot of the sauce for good measure. I'll share that recipe with
you someday, maybe, but today is not that day. Trust me, it's worth the wait.
Well, off to my afternoon nap. Hey, where do you think I get all this energy?