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Print this Recipe    Pulla 04

Scandinavian Pulla (Cardamom Coffeebread)

2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water, 105 degrees to 115 degrees
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups (12-ounce can) undiluted evaporated milk
1/2 to 1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground cardamom seeds (not already ground cardamom
powder)
4 eggs, room temperature
7 to 8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) soft or melted butter glaze
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk
Pearl sugar or sliced almonds for garnish

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water; add 1 teaspoon
sugar, stir, and let stand for 5 minutes until yeast foams. Warm
milk to between 105 degrees and 115 degrees. Stir milk, sugar,
salt, cardamom, eggs and half the flour into the yeast mixture.
Beat with an electric mixer until very smooth and shiny. Beat in
the butter. Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time until the dough
is stiff but not dry. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Turn out
onto lightly floured board and knead until satiny and smooth, about
10 minutes.

Wash bowl, grease it, and add the dough to the bowl, turning to
grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled,
about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Turn risen dough out onto breadboard and
divide into 3 portions.

Divide each portion into 3 parts. Roll out to make strands about
24 inches long. Make 3 braids, using 3 strands each. Place on
lightly greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled,
about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix egg and milk to make a glaze and
brush the braids with the mixture. Sprinkle with the sugar or
almonds. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden, or until a wooden
skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

VARIATIONS:

To make one large wreath, divide the dough into four parts. Roll
three parts into long strands about 40 inches long. Braid the
strands together (it's easier if you start from the middle of the
strands and braid out to the ends, flip the braid over, then braid
from the middle again). Seal the ends together and place in a circle
on a parchment-covered baking sheet.

Divide the last portion of the dough into three parts, and carefully
roll each part into a long, thin strand about 40 inches long. Braid
the three together and place on the center of the large braid;
pinching ends together. (Sometimes I tack the top braid down with
toothpicks so they won't slide around during baking).

Glaze and bake as directed above, increasing the baking time by
about 5 minutes if necessary.

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