The Pit and the Passion

She held her gaze steady, mainly so she could delve deep, deep into those chocolate eyes. Together with his sharp, angular nose and intense, almost predatory, expression, he reminded her of a peregrine falcon on the hunt.

The Pit & the Passion

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Merry Christmas! The Best Coffeebread in the World

Merry Christmas! You can find this recipe at Michelle McCleod's blogspot: along with lots of other wonderful recipes for Christmas. Enjoy!

My Swedish mother-in-law made this (along with pickled herring, korv (sausage), jellied veal, and pickled beets) for her Christmas smörgåsbord every year. The first time we missed Christmas in Connecticut, my husband and children insisted that I make it. After several tries, I managed to adapt it for lazy modern bakers who like a more highly spiced loaf. The texture is similar to brioche and insists on being slathered with butter. It is best served for breakfast or at an afternoon coffee break. I advise against making this for your family if you cannot commit to offering it every year for the rest of your life.


Makes 3 loaves; freezes well
Total time preparation, rising & baking: about 4 hours


2 pkg dry yeast (4 ½ tsp)
1/3 cup warm water
1 cup milk
¾ cup sugar
½ cup butter
1 ½ tsp salt
5 to 5 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 T cardamom pods
4 T butter
4 T sugar


Grind cardamom pods very fine.  Set aside. 
In a small cup dissolve yeast in the warm water. 
Scald milk: heat until foam forms on the milk either in a pot or in the microwave, about 4 minutes in a microwave.
Combine hot milk, sugar, butter and salt in a large bowl then cool to lukewarm. Put in bowl of Kitchenaid or food processor.
Stir in 2 cups of the flour. Beat well.
Add eggs. Beat well. 
Stir in yeast, cardamom and remaining flour to make a soft dough.
If using a food processor or Kitchenaid: Using the kneading arm of the processor, knead 8-10 minutes (if using a bread machine, follow your machine instructions for dough cycle). 
Remove from machine. Place dough in greased bowl and cover with damp towel or greased plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot away from drafts and let rise till doubled in bulk (about 2 hours). 
Remove from bowl and place on floured board. Punch down and divide dough into 3 equal parts. Cover with damp cloth and let rest 10 minutes. 
Divide each part into 3 equal strands and braid loosely, pinching the ends and folding them under. Place on a greased cookie sheet, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise till doubled (about 1 hour). 
Preheat oven to 350º. 
Bake the loaves for 20 minutes or until golden. While it is baking, melt butter and have it ready with a basting brush.
When you take the bread from the oven, place on cooling racks (I put paper towels under to catch the sugar) and immediately brush with butter. Sprinkle with sugar and any leftover cardamom.


Pat Dale said...

Sounds absolutely delicious. We'll have to try this one! Cheers,

M. S. Spencer said...

It's easier than it sounds--just takes time (in the rising). It really is melt in your mouth. Enjoy! Meredith

Julie A. D'Arcy said...

Sounds like an action packed novel you have there, from Secret Cravings Publishing. And the recipee sounds great. Yum! to both actually.
Julie A. D'Arcy

Dianne Venetta said...

Can't wait to try this in my bread machine! :)

M. S. Spencer said...

Works very well in the bread machine (or Kitchenaid)--my mother-in-law had to admit it tasted better than the hand-kneaded version! Merry Christmas.
Julie--hope you enjoy the book! Meredith