Finnish coffee braid

Yield: 2 large love

Measure Ingredient
Sunset Magazine, December
½ cup Butter
1 pack Yeast (active dry or compressed)
3 tablespoons Lukewarm water
2 eaches Eggs, beaten
1 cup Milk, scalded and cooled
½ cup Sugar 1961
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Fresh ground cardamom, or finely crushed
1 each Orange, grated peel of (opt)
5 cups Unsifted flour (about)
1 each Egg yolk
1 tablespoon Milk

SERVINGS: 2 LARGE LOAVES, OR

SOURCE: MOM-E'S OLD MAGAZINE

FROM: SALLIE KREBS

Melt butter and set aside to cool. Blend yeast with water. In a large mixing bowl combine beaten eggs, milk, sugar, salt, cardamom, grated orange peel, yeast mixture, and butter. Stir in enough flour to make a fairly stiff dough. Turn onto a floured board and knead until dough is smooth. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl; cover. Put in a warm place and let rise until nearly double in bulk, about 2 hours. Punch down and divide in 2 equal portions (or 3 portions for smaller loaves), then divide each portion into thirds. Roll each third between hands to form strands 18 to 24 inches long (make all the same length), rolling from center. Place 3 strands on a board, crossing in the center, and braid out to each end. Form braid in a ring and pinch ends together. Place on a greased baking sheet. Repeat process to make the second braid. Cover lightly with waxed paper and let rise in a warm place until nearly double, from 2 to 2½ hours.

Paint each braid with a mixture of egg yolk beaten with the 1 tbsp milk. Bake at 350-F for about 45 minutes or until a medium brown. Let cool on wire racks (or serve warm). Decorate, if desired. Wrap airtight; to freeze braids, seal in foil. Slice to serve. For an additional authentic touch of tradition, sprinkle braids with chopped almonds before baking.

Submitted By SALLIE KREBS On 12-04-94

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