- In a large bowl:
- 5 c. warm water
- 1 T. cardamom
- 3 T. yeast
- 1/2 c. sugar
Let this set for about 5 minutes.
- Add: 1 1/3 c. powdered milk (dry)
- Stir well.
- 8 eggs, beaten
- 2 c. granulated sugar
- 1 c. butter, melted
- 2 t. salt
- 8 c. flour
Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Stir in: 8 c. flour
Turn dough onto a floured surface (about 1 c. of flour). Sprinkle the top of the dough with another cup of flour. Knead in about 1 c. flour, but make sure there is still flour on the counter top. GO WASH YOUR HANDS. DRY YOUR HANDS COMPLETELY.
Rub a fine dusting of flour over the dough. Knead it just until it is soft and not sticky to your hands. If it still feels sticky after kneading it for another minute or two, go wash and dry your hands again and repeat this. I have done this hundreds of times so I know what the dough will feel like. To keep it a soft, moist bread you don’t want to knead it for really long, nor put too much flour! Too much flour makes a dry bread.
Pour about 3 T. vegetable oil into your bowl. Place dough in the bowl. Use the dough to wipe the oil around the bowl, ending with turning the dough over so there is oil on the top of the dough ~ just everything all oiled! Cover with plastic wrap or a damp muslin cloth. Rise to more than double! I like for it to take a long time because it seems to make softer bread, however, if it rises too long it will fall on it’s own. There are times when I am busy so I have to punch the dough down and it rises again, but not for as long. DON’T RUSH THINGS! Plan on it taking a long time. Let it do its work.
Grease your counter top with vegetable oil. Dump your dough onto the counter. Form the dough into a fat log and cut/divide into 8 equal pieces. This makes 8 large loaves. However, if you want smaller loaves, cut the dough into more pieces. I have only done as many as 12 loaves from this batch.
Now take ONE of the 8 pieces and cut it into either 3 or 4 equal pieces. To form braids, roll each of the smaller pieces into a 15″ to 18″ long rope. When all 3 or 4 pieces are ropes, lay them beside each other and start braiding. Start at the middle of the ropes and work your braid to the end, pinching the ends of the ropes together and tucking it under to hold the braid in place. Then go to the other side and braid the other half of the loaf, pinching and tucking as well. (To do this is hard for me to write!!!! I will eventually take a video of me doing it to show you what I am trying to say. Some of you will know what I am writing about and do it without instruction!!!!)
Place the braid onto a cookie sheet sprayed with PAM. I fit 2 loaves on a cookie sheet. I place them on so that the loaf is laid across the pan width not length. My braid is about 12″ long and sets on the cookie sheet that width. The length of my pan is about 17″ so 2 loaves fit on one pan. Let the loaves rise for about 1 1/2 hours. Again, DO NOT RUSH THINGS! I sometimes let it rise for even 2 hours. This makes my Nisu good!
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. You will be baking 4 loaves at a time, using 2 racks in your oven. Use the middle and lowest rack settings. Place pans in and bake for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, swap the pans so the bottom pan goes to the top and the top pan goes to the bottom. (And just to confuse you, but isn’t so necessary. It’s just somethings I do: I turn the pan so that the end of the pan that was at the back of the oven is now at the front of the oven!!!!) Now bake for 10 minutes longer. That is a total of 25 minutes in the oven!
Remove from oven. Gently remove the bread from the pan (I use a turner like I flip pancakes and eggs with to do this) and cool on a cooling rack. Some people like to eat it warm with jam or butter. I cool mine completely and then place into storage bags. If it is warm at all that is bad because it builds condensation in the bag and causes it to mold quickly. So cooling before storage is important.
This bread is NOT for making sandwiches. It is a sweet bread for snacks or desserts or breakfast. Some people use it to make french toast when it gets dried out. To make it like regular toast is good, too. Mostly we eat it as a dessert/snack with a cream cheese frosting. The recipe for the frosting is:
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Mix very well:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, soft, room temperature
- 1/2 c. butter, melted
- Add in:
- 2 pound bag powdered sugar
- Turn mixer on and start slowly stirring the sugar in but also slowly drizzling in:
- 1/3 c. milk
When it looks a safe, I turn the mixer to medium and just let it start working the frosting! Let it mix for 2 minutes even. I sometimes stop the mixer and scrape the bowl if it feels like that is best. Sometimes I end up adding a few more tablespoons of milk. I don’t know why it varies each time! Also, everyone likes a different consistency. If I double the batch I often end up using 3/4 c. milk even though it should only be 2/3 c. milk. Go figure. Use the frosting on top of the loaf before slicing or smear your slice with the frosting like it’s butter on bread! Enjoy!
~~~~ I WILL SEARCH FOR PHOTOS TO PUT ON.
~~~~~ I WILL TRY DOING VIDEOS OF SOME OF THE INSTRUCTIONS EVENTUALLY, TOO!