I’ve had so much fun sharing bread recipes with you, courtesy of my husband. This cardamom bread absolutely had to make the list because it’s my all time favorite sweet bread! Now, I leave you in good hands with my hubby…
This bread is a college flashback for me. If I recall the story correctly, my roommate had to make something to eat for a class of his. He remembered this bread from his childhood and asked his mom for the recipe. After a bit of grocery shopping and trying to find a dorm room with access to an oven, we made this bread. To say a couple people stopped by the kitchen that night to figure out what smelled so good would be a bit of an understatement. This is what I call a “dessert bread”. It’s sweeter and heavier than normal bread, and it definitely won’t win healthy food awards, but you may need to booby trap the place where you store it to keep it from disappearing.
Since that night, I’ve made this bread about forty times. I’ve modified the recipe a little from the original to simplify the steps, to use a stand mixer, and to have way more cardamom, but otherwise this remains true to the original all the way down to the braiding of the dough before baking it. Cardamom is a relatively expensive spice, but I love it so much that using more of it than the original recipe called for is completely worth it for me.
Cardamom Bread Recipe
(Makes 1 loaf. Takes around 3 hours to prepare.)
Ingredients for Bread:
- 1/2 cup butter (equivalent to 1 stick)
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons yeast (equivalent to 1 packet)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 4 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Ingredients for Topping:
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
- sugar to sprinkle on top
- Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature it will allow and then turn it off. If that temperature is above about 100 F leave it open for a while to cool down again. You do NOT want to dry out or cook the dough. The perfect temperature for dough to rise in barely feels warm at all. Your goal is a draft free warm place to put the dough.
- Dice the butter and then melt it in the microwave for about 60 seconds. (The dicing helps it to melt evenly before it becomes too hot.)
- Warm the milk in the microwave for around 30 seconds. (Just enough to take the chill out of it.)
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the warm water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let the yeast bloom for about 5 minutes.
- Add the warm milk, melted butter, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of sugar, salt, and cardamom to the stand mixer.
- Using the dough hook attachment, turn the stand mixer on a low speed.
- Add the flour one cup at a time.
- Allow the dough to knead in your stand mixer for about 5 minutes until the dough is silky and smooth.
- Grease a large bowl with cooking spray.
- Transfer the dough to the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Place the bowl in the slightly warmed oven (prepared above) for 90 to 120 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Punch down the dough to remove air bubbles and then divide the dough into three even pieces.
- Roll the three pieces of dough into thick strands and then braid them together.
- Separate the yolks out of 2 eggs (you don’t need the whites for this recipe) and beat them lightly with a fork.
- Stir 1/2 tablespoon of cardamom into the egg yolks.
- Brush the braided loaf with with the egg mixture and then sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes.
Like most breads, you start by waking up your yeast. In this one you use very little water because there are a lot of other wet ingredients coming soon. Unlike some other breads, for this one you provide a tasty snack of sugar to the yeast right away. This helps the yeast to start multiplying right out of the gate.
After adding all the other wet ingredients, the recipe looks a bit like you are making the weirdest soup in history. While it looks rather gross, it already smells amazing thanks to all that delicious cardamom.
After adding the flour and mixing it up a bit, you’ll end up with dough that is still rather moist and sticky, but no longer looks like a science experiment in nasty soup.
Move the dough to a greased bowl so it can rise comfortably. Since there isn’t a lot of yeast in this recipe, it can take a little bit longer to get to doubled size.
In my case, I was happy with the rise after around 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Now comes the tricky part. This loaf isn’t just delicious it’s also super pretty. If you don’t know how to braid, you should consider practicing before you make this bread. If you feel you have no hope of braiding the bread it may be possible to skip this step entirely, but I’ve never tried it so I’m not sure. The internal structure created by the braided parts being separate pieces of dough is pretty awesome.
Once the dough is braided you should gently squish the loaf from the ends to make it a bit shorter, taller, and wider. Once you have the proper loaf shape, it’s time to top it with some egg, some more cardamom for flavor, and some sugar because a sweetened crust just goes perfectly with a sweet dessert bread.
Be prepared for your house (or your dorm room kitchen) to smell amazing. Baking this bread releases large amounts of cardamom scented steam and that in turn makes college kids or family members come out of the woodwork following their noses.
This bread, like so many bread recipes out there, is quite a pile of steps, and believe it or not this is the simplified version. The result however will blow your mind. This bread almost immediately became Tina’s “favorite bread on Earth” after I made it for her the first time. To this day she actively tries to persuade me to NOT make it because she knows there is just simply no self control for anyone in the presence of this bread.
Is it just me or is it fun to see all the cardamom specs in the bread? This bread is moist and because it’s braided you can even pull some of the pieces apart, similar to the way you can with cinnamon swirl bread.
That sugary crust is my wife’s favorite part. It’s crunchy, sweet, and packs that last little bit of cardamom into every bite.
What other bread recipes would you like to see here?
Adapted from a recipe provided by Dave’s roommate’s mom.
Here are some other bread recipes from Dave’s Bread Corner
Really interesting flavor. I really like cardamom in food but have never tried it in bread. I like the lighting in your pic.
I’m the opposite…I’ve never cooked with cardamom in savory dishes. I should give it a try since I love this bread so much. Thank you so much for you lovely compliment! 🙂
I hated not having a kitchen my freshman year of college. There was only ONE for the entire building. Torture! And you had to have an RA present the entire time. This bread sounds delicious. Bet the cardamom gives it a great, warm flavor.
It’s honestly my favorite sweet bread of all time!
Can I just say how impressive it is that your man makes bread?!?! My man is in charge of eggs and eggs only. Bread just isn’t something he could handle…ever. You hit the jackpot lady!
Haha, I sure did hit the jackpot! 🙂
It looks wonderful and will be a hit with all of my Scandinavian neighbors 🙂
Did I overlook it or is the amount of flour missing in your recipe?
Thank you for catching that! My husband wanted to rearrange and simplify the recipe and inadvertently left that out. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know. I’ve fixed the recipe. 🙂
I hope your neighbors love it as much as we do! If you end up making it, I’d love to know how it goes.
I don’t think I’ve ever used cardamon in a yeasted bread! This looks ridiculously good. I’m going to start showing these posts to my husband – I wouldn’t mind it one little bit if he made me bread (or really did any cooking! ha!) once in a while! : )
Haha…show away. 😉
OMG that CRUST!!! Dying.
I live for this crust! 🙂
Dessert breads all the way! They are my favorite 🙂 All bread looks gorgeous to me, but this was more than usual. Got to love the fun memories that go with it, too!
I totally agree! 🙂
This looks amazing!! That crust looks to die for, and love the cardamom in there.
This crust is out of this world amazing! Love it! 🙂
Oh wow, I want to make this now! This looks absolutely scrumptious.
We ate ours so fast…can I come over if you make some? 😉
Tina, you’re so lucky that this is your hubby’s speciality bake! I realised as I was reading that I have absolutely no idea what cardamon tastes or smells like. I will have to put that one right. The bread really does look amazing, though, and it really must be if you husband has made it 40 times!
It’s hard to explain what cardamom tastes like because there is really nothing out that I can think of to compare it to. However, I think that if you are a fan of warm spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice, then you’ll love this one too. 🙂
Ooooo! I adore this one! I absolutely love cardamom! I can almost taste that bread from here!
Love the idea of adding cardamom to bread, just the smell alone makes me swoon with joy!
Swoon away! 😉
This sounds amazing. And it’s been tried and tested several times which gives me a lot of confidence to brave into the ”bread world”!
I can relate to you, but my husband assures me that the bread world isn’t as scary as some make it out to be. 😉 We like to include a lot of step by step instructions and photos with his bread posts because we hope that it’s helpful to those who want it. He has literally made this bread dozens of times…it’s just that amazing. 🙂
It’s not just you, it is fun to see all the cardamon specs in the bread. I love cardamon and know I will love this!!
Love to hear that! 🙂
Wow! Seriously best college assignment EVER! Hope your roomie got an A! Especially for managing to make this amazing bread in a dorm oven! This looks insanely delicious, Dave! I absolutely adore cardamom, and am sending you a huge high-five for this fantastic recipe! Totally wish I had some for breakfast this very moment! 😀
That’s awesome! Thank you!!
Fascinating! I’ve never heard of Cardamom Bread until now…and I’m pretty sure it needs to show up in my kitchen soon!
Caution…you will not be able to live without it once you’ve had it. 😉
This bread is beautiful, and the spice sounds divine, Tina!
Glad to see that I’m not the only dorm room baker out there! I’ve never attempted bread in my dorm though- kneading just seems like too much work without a real kitchen.
I bet this bread is fantastic- and I need that sugary crust in my life!
That sugar crust rocks! 🙂
This loaf is so pretty. Look at that crust 😉
Cardamom is definitely one of my favourite spices too. Sounds amazing to add it to bread.
It’s simply devine! Thanks Josefine. 🙂
Wow, this bread is so yummy!! I saw it on foodgawker this morning and made it as soon as I got home. It turned out beautiful!! Now the family is fighting over the last pieces. Thank you for this great recipe 🙂
I’m so happy that you made it and love it! I appreciate you stopping by my blog and for taking the time to let me know how you made out…you made my day. 🙂
PS – I hope that the family shares those last pieces. 🙂
I just love a braided loaf and your cardamom bread sounds amazing!
Thanks so much! 🙂
Thanks to your hubby for a great post and a delicious bread. I bet this would make your whole house smell wonderful whilst it is baking. Take Care, BAM
Oh it sure does smell wonderful! Thanks Bam. 🙂
This bread is beautiful Tina, that’s so awesome your husband is a such a rock star at baking bread:) Homemade bread is my weakness and I love that this has cardamom – it sounds amazing in here! I can imagine the wonderful aroma while this was baking in the oven, thanks for sharing this great recipe with us 🙂
I’m a very lucky lady. 🙂 The house definitely smells amazing while it’s baking. It’s almost torture waiting for it to be done and cool enough to dive into! 😉
Wow how cool! Cardamom in bread… I’ve never seen that before 🙂 Loving all the bread recipes!
I’d never heard of it cardamom bread until my husband introduced it to me a few years ago. Seriously my favorite sweet bread ever. I sometimes beg him NOT to make it because I know I don’t have any self control and will eat way more than I should. 🙂
Sweet breads are my weakness – this looks too good for words. I’m drooling over here ahhh!
Hehe, do you need a napkin? 😉
Tina, I am so excited to see this recipe. When I was just out of high school I was at the house of an acquaintance and her mom made cardamom bread. I remember it tasted so amazing. I have always been on the lookout for a recipe and yours is the first I have found (thanks for sharing).
Now, if I can find me some cardamom down here in Brazil, I would be set to try it:)
Pinning it now, ok?
I am excited that you found this recipe! I can relate to you because there are ingredients that I cannot find near me so sometimes I will order them online. I am lucky that cardamom is easy to find here in CT, USA. I hope you can find it! Thank you so much for pinning. 🙂
I have alwys been wanting to bake with camradom but just not bothered to buy the spice since I dont really use them. After seeing your picture of the cake, I may have to make a trip to the supermarket soon.. I love your pictures btw, keep it up!