No-Knead Swedish Cardamom Braid
Makes 2 loaves
The VT staff will be talking about (and making) this recipe for years to come. The veganizing of a recipe traditionally rich in eggs and butter is an inspiration, and the easy, no-knead recipe is a stroke of genius. Celia's modifications to the original recipe work so well that none of the rich texture of the holiday bread is lost in translation.
- 2 cups almond milk, plus more for brushing loaf top
- 2 Tbs. Bob's Red Mill flaxseed meal
- ⅓ cup agave nectar or Lundberg Farms Sweet Dreams organic brown rice syrup
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 1 Tbs. active dry yeast
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 1 ½ tsp. whole cardamom seeds, coarsely ground with a mortar and pestle
- 5 ¼ cups Bob's Red Mill unbleached white flour
- 2 Tbs. Florida Crystals Demerara sugar, for sprinkling
1. Stir together almond milk, flaxseed meal, agave nectar, oil, yeast, salt, and cardamom in large nonreactive bowl with lid. Add flour, and mix thoroughly with wooden spoon. Cover with lid or plastic wrap, and let stand 2 1/2 hours at room temperature. Transfer to refrigerator, and let rest overnight.
2. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Remove half of dough from refrigerator; reserve remaining dough for second loaf. (Dough will keep in refrigerator up to 5 days.) Divide dough into 3 equal pieces, and gently roll each piece into 18-inch-long rope on floured work surface. Place dough ropes side by side spaced 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Pinch ends together on one side, and tuck under. Loosely braid dough ropes, then pinch tail ends together. Cover braided loaf loosely with kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rest 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F. Brush top of braided loaf with almond milk, and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
November/December 2010 p.64