Monday, January 16, 2012

Mummo Kulju's Nisu

One of my childhood memories is my Finnish grandmother making cardamon bread. I remember her weathered but strong fingers kneading the dough and its sweet taste. She passed before I got to know her very well. She didn't speak English and that was intimidating to an 8 year old. Here's the recipe:

1 package yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
2 eggs, slightly beaten
4 to 4-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg yolk
2 tbls whole milk

Dissolve yeast in the warm water in a large bowl and stir in evaporated milk, sugar, salt, cardamon, eggs and 2 cups flour. Beat in butter until mixture is smooth. Stir in enough flour to make the dough easy to handle. Let rest 15 minutes.

Turn dough onto floured board. Knead about 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled. Push it down and cover and let rise again for about 1 hour.

Divide dough into half and each half into thirds. Roll the six parts into 1 inch strands. Braid three strands to make one loaf. (Will make 2 loaves) Place each into a bread pan, cover and let rise until doubled.

Heat oven to 375. Mix egg yolk and whole milk. Brush bread with mixture and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until light brown and bread sound hollow when tapped. (about 20 to 25 minutes.) Let cool on a rack.

(Mummo is Finnish for grandmother. Nisu is the name of the bread)

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