Nisu- Finnish Bread with Cardamom

Nisu Bread

This wonderful recipe came from the Finn grandmother of two good friends. I think of her every time I make this bread. She was a sweet and loving woman.

Nisu is a soft, slightly sweet bread, made special with the addition of cardamom.

Cardamom is a spice that has a rich, sweet flavor and fragrance.  You can purchase it ground or whole, in pods.

Cardamom is often used in baked goods and adds a nice flavor to frosting and glazes. It is also used to flavor coffee.

Cardamom is a little pricey. The good news is a little goes a long way. If you buy ground cardamom, you can store it in the freezer to keep it fresh longer.

This bread is lovely just toasted, and makes great French toast.

It is also a nice sandwich bread.

The recipe makes three loaves, so you can leave one out and freeze the other two.

Nisu

½ c. warm water
2 packages active dry yeast
2 c. milk
½ c. sugar
2-3 t. ground cardamom
1 t. salt
6 T. butter
6-7 c. flour, preferably bread flour
2 eggs

Dissolve yeast in water and set aside. Place milk in large bowl and add the sugar, cardamom, salt and butter. Heat in microwave until liquid is very warm. Butter might not be completely melted. Stir mixture until sugar is dissolved. Place 2 cups of flour in a mixing bowl and add the milk mixture, eggs and yeast mixture. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup more of the flour and beat 2 minutes more. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until dough is firm and smooth, about 10 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and turn dough to coat. Cover with a towel and allow to rest until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and divide into 3 pieces. Roll each piece into a loaf and place in greased 9×5 inch bread pans. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden and loaf sounds hollow when tapped lightly. Makes 3 loaves.