Saturday, March 12, 2011

No-Knead Swedish Cardamom Braid

Makes 2 loaves
Recipe from Vegetarian Times
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

This is just downright wonderful, especially considering that it’s a snap to make, mimics perfectly the wonderful texture of a traditional brioche, but without the eggs and butter. I especially loved the hint of cardamom in every bite. Make a batch of this dough and then you’ll have one loaf for yourself and one to give to a friend who is vegan. If you’d like, you can even use it to make a very nice French toast.  (French toast is traditionally made with eggs and milk, so preparing French toast with this bread will make the bread non-vegan.)

Ingredient List
• 2 cups almond milk, plus more for brushing loaf top
• 2 Tbs. flaxseed meal (We buy whole flax seed from the bulk section and grind it ourselves in a spice grinder. This makes flaxseed “meal.” My husband puts this on his oatmeal every day.)
• 1/3 cup agave nectar or organic brown rice syrup (I used the brown rice syrup.)
• 1/3 cup canola oil (I used sunflower oil because that's what I had in my pantry. It's flavorless.)
• 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
• 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
• 1 ½ teaspoons whole cardamom seeds, coarsely ground with a mortar and pestle
• 5 ¼ cups unbleached white flour
• 2 Tablespoons Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (This is available in the bulk section of Lost River Market & Deli.)

1. Stir together almond milk, flaxseed meal, brown rice syrup, oil, yeast, salt, and cardamom in plastic bowl with lid. Add flour, and mix thoroughly with wooden spoon or a wet hand. Cover with lid that is not air tight. Allow to stand 2 ½ hours at room temperature. Transfer to refrigerator, and let rest overnight. (Dough will keep in refrigerator up to 5 days.)

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, and then pinch tail ends together. Cover braided loaf loosely with kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rest 30 minutes. (The braid will rise just a bit and will puff up even more while it’s baking.)

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.

Nutritional Information
Per slice: Calories: 233, Protein: 5g, Total fat: 6g, Saturated fat: <1g, Carbs: 40g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 233mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 8g

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