When I was a kid, my parent’s friends from Alberta, Ted and Carol-Ann, bought a really old farmhouse down the road from our cottage at Oak Point, New Brunswick. They called it the Oak Point Inn. It looked like a haunted house. It had no electricity, no indoor plumbing, an awesome back staircase and what seemed like 1000 rooms when I was young. We had so much fun in that house. Playing hide and seek, pretending it was haunted and exploring every nook and cranny. We shared many meals there and after dinner when it got dark, we lit lots of candles and glass oils lanterns and huddled in to play boardgames or cards. Needless to say, I have many memories of the Oak Point Inn but one of my fondest ones was making cardamom bread with Carol-Ann from scratch. I was pretty young at the time but she was patient and let me help at every step. I remember feeling very proud of myself when it was finished. And it was delicious. Over Christmas this year, my Mom suggested we make Carol-Ann’s cardamom bread recipe. So we did. And I’m sharing it today.
I know you are probably thinking that cardamom bread sounds like it would be a savory bread. But it’s not, it’s actually a very sweet bread. Now, I cheated a little and made the dough using the dough setting of my mother’s bread maker, but I’ll share the manual instructions below in brackets for those of you who do not have a breadmaker.
- 1 package of active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- 4- 4 1/2 cups of white flour
- 1/4 cup of margarine, melted
For the wash:
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp of milk
- sliced almonds
Check you breadmaker instructions for dough recipes and add all your ingredients in the order they are required. Set you breadmaker to the dough setting and turn on.
ALTERNATE (no breadmaker): Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, eggs, sugar, salt cardamon, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat in melted margarine until smooth and then add remaining flour. Cover and rest 15 mins. Turn on floured surface and knead bread. Place in greased bowl and let rise until doubled in size. Punch down.
Split dough in half then split into 3 equal pieces.
Create 3 long tubes of dough that are roughly the same size.
Braid three pieces. Do the same for the other half of the dough and let rise again until doubled in size.
Whisk together the egg yolk and milk, and coat the loaves with it.
Sprinkle with sugar and sliced almonds. Bake for 20-25 mins.
And voila! Tasty sweet cardamom bread.
The bread tasted just as I remembered it from all those summers ago. I think that the best recipes have a dash of nostalgia. They eventually sold the farmhouse and Carol-Ann is no longer with us but many memories are wrapped up in this recipe. I should also mention that I recently discovered that Carol-Ann’s daughter, Jody, who also spent some summers at the Oak Point Inn, is also a blogger in Calgary at Travels with Baggage! I’m telling you the power of social media for re-connecting people is pretty amazing sometimes.
Have a great day!