This coffee bread is a favorite to serve around Christmastime.
Makes: 3 servings
Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 40 mins
- 1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 3 packages dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons milk
- 6 1/2 cups flour
- 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 cups raisins
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons chopped or slivered almonds
- 1 large egg
- Using a standing electric mixer with a bread hook attachment, or by hand, combine 1 cup sugar with the yeast, cardamom and salt. In a small saucepan, melt the 1 stick butter, then add the 2-1/4 cups milk and heat until lukewarm (about 115 degrees ). Pour the warm milk and butter into the mixer bowl. Mix in the flour 1 cup at a time until incorporated. Beat until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Cover with a dry towel and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
- Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees . Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into thirds. Cover and refrigerate 2 sections. Roll out the third piece of dough into a 9-by-14-inch rectangle (about 1/4 inch thick). Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over the dough and sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon. Sprinkle with one third of the raisins and 1/2 cup almonds. Roll the dough into a tight log and pinch the ends closed. Repeat with the other two pieces of dough and the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, 1 more cup almonds and the raisins; place the loaves on the prepared baking sheets.
- Using scissors, cut incisions straight down into each loaf, about 2 inches apart, stopping just short of the bottom of the dough. Gently pull the slices apart from each other, in alternating directions. Repeat with the remaining two logs.
- Place the loaves on top of the stove to rise for 10 minutes. Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons milk and the egg and brush the mixture onto the loaves. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons almonds and some extra sugar. Bake the bread, switching the pans from upper to lower racks halfway through, until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Place on a rack, cover with a towel and let cool.