MY VERSION These quantities will give you enough dough for two loaves. For variety I normally make one filled loaf and one plain loaf.
30g of fresh yeast of 2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
110g caster sugar
750g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp ground cardamom (it’s best if you split then remove the black seeds inside green cardamom pods and grind them in a pestle and mortar)
1 egg, beaten
Filling: (Enough for one loaf)
100g soft butter
60g soft brown sugar
25g granulated or caster sugar
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamon
Optional extras: handful of nuts and/or raisins
1. In a large saucepan, gently heat the milk , butter and ground cardamom until just warm and all the butter has melted.
2. Remove from the heat and once it has cooled to luke warm add the egg and fresh or dried yeast and whisk thoroughly. (If you are using fast action yeast just heat the milk, butter and cardamom and add the yeast with the flour and other dry ingredients).
3. Place the flour, salt, sugar (and fast action yeast if using) into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in them milk, egg and butter mixture and combine everything together by hand or using a wooden spoon so that you get a rough dough.
4. At this stage you need to turn the dough out on to a floured surface and give it a good knead until it is smooth and silky. Place the dough in a floured bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and place in a warm place to double in size (about and hour). Go and enjoy a cup of tea, listen to the radio or read a good book.
5. Once the dough has risen, knock it back, remove from the bowl and divide the dough in two. Then follow either the instructions for a plain loaf or the pull apart version.
Pull-apart Cardamon Bread
1. Grease and flour a tin.
2. Take half the dough and place on to a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a rectangle shape of about 0.5cm thickness.
3. Mix together the butter, sugar and spices then spread over the dough, sprinkle over the raisins and nuts if using. Make sure that there is an even covering.
4. Now cut the rectangle in half lengthways and roll up each smaller rectangle into tight log shape with the filling on the inside.
5. Cut into slices about 2-3cm thick and place the pieces into the prepared tin with the cut, see the picture below for how I did it.
6. Cover over again then leave in a warm place for the final rise of about an hour.
7. Preheat the oven to 180C then bake in the oven for around 30 minutes. You will know the bread is finished when the top is very golden brown.
8. Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes or so then loosen the bread with a knife and turn out on to a plate or board. Turn it right way up again using another plate to help.
1. Preheat the oven to 180C
2. Split the dough into three equal pieces and make each piece into a rope.
3. Plait/braid the ropes together and tuck the edges under.
4. Place on a lined baking sheet, brush generously with egg wash and sprinkle with slivered almonds or sugar crystals. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes.
5. Once the loaf has cooled you can either serve it as it is or decorate with a simple glaze of icing sugar mixed with a couple of drops of water and a scattering of slivered almonds.