This recipe was given to me by Patti Folsom, assistant librarian at the Harmony Library. Makes 2 loaves.
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 stick butter, minus one Tbsp
1 heaping tsp ground cardamom (more or less, to taste)
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups flour (preferably King Arthur)
2 tsp yeast (not rapid-rise type)
Beat eggs with sugar. In a small saucepan (or in the microwave), warm the milk, and melt the butter in the warm milk. Add cardamom, vanilla and salt. Mix above ingredients until well blended and pour liquids in bottom of the bread machine pan. (Note: Follow your individual bread machine instructions as to adding ingredients. But do not mix salt with yeast. Salt will negate the action of the yeast.)
Add the flour, make a small dent in flour and place yeast in dent. Set machine on dough setting.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
When cycle is finished, remove dough and cut into two pieces. Cut each of the two pieces into three pieces for braids. Braid dough and shape. Let rise until about double.
Patti's note: I brush on Eggbeaters and sprinkle with coarse sugar. (My note: make an egg wash by beating one egg with one teaspoon of water. Brush on, then sprinkle with sugar.)
Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until bread has risen and the loaves are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.