Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Julekake - We knead to Bake 23

Julekake or Julekaga is Christmas bread from Norway. Aparna suggested this one for December 2014 and the We Knead to Bake - Bread Baking Group baked along with her then. i am late by over two months posting this. Nonetheless, all good things need to be shared; this one certainly has to be.
Julekake is a rich holiday bread flavoured with cardamom and is traditionally served at Christmas throughout the Scandinavian countries. Going by the name which means 'yule bread' in the Norwegian language it is widely popular in Norway and Denmark.
The bread is more like a cake in its texture and there is glaze or dusting with powdered sugar.
Leaving it plain without glazing, makes it a breakfast dish when paired with butter or goat's milk cheese called geitost or brunost. Traditionally, in Norway, only a lime green citrus peel called sukat is added to the bread along with cardamom and golden or black raisins. in recent times, being a Christmas dish, people add some red  and green cherries in line with the season.While there are other additions like candied orange peel and other coloured candied peel, the flavour id predominantly from the cardamom. Some Julekake even feature almonds, which I have used in my bread to glaze the bread along with decorative sugar stars.Also I have not used the egg given in this recipe.

Julekake or Julekaga (Norwegian Cardamom Scented Christmas Bread)
(Partially adapted from the Great Scandinavian baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas)

For the bread:
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1 egg (I opted to omit, not substitued either)
50 grams butter at room temperature, softened
1/4 cup sugar (you might want to reduce sugar if you are using icing)
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 or 5 pods of cardamoms crushed to a powder
21/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup mixed candied fruit
1/4 cup golden or dark raisins

For the glaze:
1 tablespoon milk
Pearl sugar or crushed sugar cubes/ and or sliced almonds

If Icing:
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 to 2 tablespoon cream or milk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Mix yeast with 1 teaspoon sugar, lukewarm milk and lukewarm water. Keep it covered and let it rise.
Place the yeast mixture, sugar, egg (if using) and the butter in a bowl and mix a couple of times.
Mix well and then add flour and powdered cardamom.
Knead well to form a soft, smooth and elastic dough.
Add more liquid or flour to achieve this texture.
Place the dough on a work surface, flatten it and sprinkle the candied fruits and raisins all over.
Roll the dough, Swiss roll style and again knead lightly by hand. This ensures that the fruits and raisins mix well in the dough.
Shape the dough in a small ball and place it in an oiled bowl, turning the dough well in oil to coat all over.
Cover and allow the dough to rise for about an hour.
Remove the dough after it has doubled in volume, lightly punch the dough down and give it a second raise  for another 45 minutes.
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Place the dough in a greased or parchment lined baking tray/ cake tin/ bread loaf tin.
Brush the milk on the surface and sprinkle almonds and sugar pearls over the top. Press them lightly so they do not fall off. If you choose to do the icing, skip this step.
Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and done.
If you find the bread browning too quickly, half way through cover with aluminium foil wrap and continue baking.
Place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
If you are icing the bread, allow to cool completely before proceeding.
Mix the ingredients for icing together to a pouring consistency. Pour it over the cooled down bread.
This bread is soft like cake and very festive from the fruits and flavour.
Please click from here to Aparna's post; there are all links to other members' breads to feast on.

1 comment:

Welcome and thank you for taking time to drop by.
I appreciate your valuable comments and tips.
I sincerely hope to improve with them.
Hope we shall interact often.
Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.