the original recipe is from “the finnish cookbook” by beatrice a. ojakangas, but we make a few modifications to suit our own taste and fit our allergy needs.
1 package active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
7-8 cardamom pods or 1 tsp ground cardamom
4 eggs (or egg substitute)
8 cups flour
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg beaten
1/2 sliced almonds
1/2 cup coarse granulated sugar
1. dissolve the yeast in warm water. stir in milk, sugar, salt, cardamom eggs and 2 cups of flour to make a batter. beat until the batter is smooth and elastic. then add 3 more cups of flour, ensuring the dough remains smooth and glossy.
2. add melted butter and the remaining flour stir until a stiff dough forms.
3. place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. once the dough is smooth, place it into a greased mixing bowl, turning it over once to grease the top. let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1 hour (doubled in bulk). then, punch the dough down and let sit for another 30 minutes.
4. preheat the oven to 400F. lightly flour a board or your flat work surface and divide the dough into three even sections. roll out each section until about 16 inches long, and then braid the three sections together. pinch both ends and tuck under. let sit and rise a little longer, approx. 20 minutes.
5. glaze the braids with your beaten egg mixture. add almonds and sugar as desired. bake for about 25-30 minutes on a lightly greased baking sheet. ensure they don’t get overcooked as they will dry out. remove from oven when braids are golden brown.
6. serves 3 braids. slice and serve with a fresh cuppa coffee!