a Swedish coffee bread! . . .

by mulberryshoots

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Many times, I write posts about preparing food. I just made my first try at making a Swedish coffee bread and took it out of the oven. It is STUPENDOUS to look at and the kitchen smells divine. I can’t wait to taste it when it cools.

It all started with a visit that my daughter, C. and I make to Verrill Farm, a fresh market in Concord, MA. that also has a coffee nook where we eat scones and catch up for a bit before buying yummy food to take home. I spied a braided loaf that was a Swedish coffee bread. At home, we ate almost half of it at one go because the crumb was fine and moist while giving off a delicate cardamon flavor.

It was so good that I decided to try my hand at making it at home. I found a recipe online that required 9 cups of flour so I halved it and then adjusted some of the ingredients. While mixing it together, I could tell this was going to be a favorite from the way it was put together. Here’s the recipe I followed:

SWEDISH COFFEE BREAD:

  1. Heat a cup and 1/4 of whole milk until bubbles form around the edges. Take off the heat.
  2. Melt a stick and a half of unsalted butter and add to the milk in a bowl.
  3. Add 1/2 cup natural sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom and 1 teaspoon salt.
  4. Combine until dissolved. Let the mixture cool a little.
  5. Add a packet of rapid-rise yeast and stir well.
  6. In half cup increments, blend in 4 1/2 cups of flour (make sure they are lightly spooned out, not heavily packed. Stir gently to mix well into a ball.
  7. Knead gently and let rise at room temperature covered with a towel or in an oven with the light on for about an hour.
  8. When doubled in bulk, knead again gently for about 5 minutes. Divide dough into three pieces and roll each one out into a long “snake.” Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with PAM. On it, braid the three pieces into a loaf. Pat it into shape as a loaf, cover with a dish towel and put it back in the lit oven (but not on) until it doubles in bulk again.
  9. Take out of the oven, preheat it to 375 degrees and brush an egg wash all over the risen loaf. Wipe up excess egg on the sheet and bake for about 25 minutes.

Take photos of it when it’s ready to come out of the oven because you won’t believe how fantastic it looks and you’ll want to show it to others.

When cool, slice and enjoy – with just about everything! For dinner tonight, we’re having chilled artichokes, moussaka (that I brought back from VF) some of this bread and a small salad with green goddess dressing.

What could be simpler, right?   (Just kidding.)