Finnish Cardamom Bread

cardamom bread
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn
  • Yield: 20 servings
  • Prep: 35 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins

St. Paul Bread Club member Pat Roberts grinds cardamom seeds in a coffee grinder.


1tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4cup warm water
1/2cup sugar, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1cup 2% reduced-fat milk
2-- eggs beaten
1/2teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds or ground cardamom
41/2cups bread flour
1/4cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1-- beaten egg (for glaze)
1teaspoon Granulated sugar for sprinkling (optional)


  1. Mix yeast, warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar until yeast dissolves. Set aside. 
  2. Heat milk in a saucepan over low heat until small bubbles appear along the edges. Cool to about 120F. Add beaten eggs, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, salt, cardamom and 3 cups flour. Beat well. Add butter; beat well. Add yeast mixture. Add remaining 11/2 cups flour in three additions, mixing well after each addition, until dough has a soft to medium consistency. 
  3. Knead on a lightly floured surface or with a mixer fitted with dough hooks until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding as little additional flour as possible. 
  4. Place dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled, 1 to 2 hours. Punch down dough and let rise again until almost doubled, about 1 hour. 
  5. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope. Braid 3 ropes together to form a loaf. Repeat with remaining 3 ropes. Place loaves on a greased baking sheet or in greased 81/2 x 41/2-inch loaf pans. Cover with a cloth and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. 
  6. Preheat oven to 375F. 
  7. Brush loaves with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 25 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom. Invert from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted with permission from Kim Ode’s Baking With the St. Paul Bread Club (Minnesota Historical Society, 2006).

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 170
  • Glycemic Load 4
  • Fat 4g
  • Saturated Fat 2g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 1g
  • Cholesterol 35mg
  • Sodium 75mg
  • Potassium 65mg
  • Carbohydrate 29g
  • Fiber 1g
  • Sugars 6g
  • Protein 5g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Vitamin A 2%
  • Vitamin C 0%
  • Calcium 2%
  • Iron 8%