Finnish Coffee Bread (Pulla)


2 packages active dry yeast
2 cups warm milk (110 degrees F)
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cardamom
6-1/2 to 7-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup crushed lump sugar


Dissolve yeast in milk in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, sugar, cardamom, and 2-½ cups of the flour. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Beat in butter and salt. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth. Cover; let rise in a warm place until doubled. Punch down and form into 6 long strands. Braid together 3 strands for each loaf. Cover loosely and let rise again until puffy but not doubled. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle on the almonds and sugar. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden.


Makes 2 loaves.

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