Wishing all my readers a Very Happy New Year! Looking forward to yet another great year taking you all through ‘My Cooking Journey’. Thanks for all your support and encouragement.
This is my first bake for the year. Thanks to Aparna for choosing this great bread as the bake for the month for ‘We Knead to Bake’ group. I was unable to bake it during the holiday season and hence thought would bake it as the first thing for the New Year. The Julekake was very simple to make and had a great texture. The bread can be left as it is or can be dusted with powder sugar or iced. I decided to leave it as such and that allowed us to have this as breakfast on the morning of the New Year.
Julekake is rich holiday bread flavored with cardamom and served at Christmas in many Scandinavian countries. The bread has an egg in the recipe, which I omitted. The bread’s flavor was very similar to the raisin buns that we find in Adayar Bakery. Next time, the only change I would do is making the dough into individual roll/bun and then bake them. Also my bread was a little flatter, as my dough had spread out quite a bit when rising.
The bread traditionally has citrus peel added along with cardamom and raisins. Being the perfect time to get the candied citrus peels, I added in fruit cake mix along with raisins.
Preparation time – 20 minutes plus 2 hours fermenting time
Cooking time – 30 minutes
Difficulty level – easy
Recipe adapted from – My Diverse Kitchen
Ingredients to make Julekake – (makes one rounded loaf)
- All purpose flour – 2 ½ cups
- Active dry yeast – 2 tsp
- Sugar – ¼ cup
- Granulated or large crystal sugar – 2 tbsp (for topping)
- Salt – ¼ tsp
- Cardamom – 4 or 5 (pods removed and powdered)
- Milk – ½ cup (lukewarm)
- Water – ¼ cup (lukewarm)
- Butter – 4 tbsp (about 50 gms)
- Candied fruit or peel – ¼ cup
- Raisins – ¼ cup
- In a bowl, add lukewarm water, lukewarm milk and 1 tsp sugar along with the yeast and mix well. Leave it aside for 5-10 minutes and until frothy.
- Remove the pods from the cardamom and crush them to form a fine powder.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, salt and powdered cardamom and mix well until combined.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer or food processor, add the activated yeast mixture, remainder of the sugar and the butter and mix well.
- Add the flour mixture to bowl and mix well until it all combines. Now knead the dough in low speed for 7-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. If needed add more flour or liquid to get the perfect consistency.
- Transfer the dough to the work surface and spread it out into a circle (shape does not matter). Sprinkle the candied peel and raisins evenly in the surface and roll the dough up in a Swiss roll style. Now using gentle pressure knead the dough. This is the best way to incorporate fruits into bread dough.
- Now roll the dough into a ball and then place it in an oiled bowl. Cover loosely and let it rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in volume.
- After the first rise, remove the dough on the work surface and deflate it gently. Now form into a neat ball again and then place it in the greased or lined baking sheet. I used a round cake pan to bake, so I placed my shaped dough inside the pan.
- Let the dough rise again for about an hour. Brush the dough with milk and then sprinkle the sugar evenly on top. I used regular granulated sugar. If using icing, skip this step.
- Bake at preheated 350 F oven for about 30 minutes or until the bread is uniformly brown all around and sounds hollow when tapped. If you find the bread browning too quickly, tent the pan with aluminum foil after about 15 minutes of baking.
- Remove the Julekake from the oven and cool it completely on rack before slicing or icing the bread.