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... formerly known as Strider. It’s an old joke instigated by a girlfriend back in college. I used to be seen hiking through the snow wearing a floppy hat and carrying a walking staff ... the whole thing. Much has changed since then.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Bestemor's Julekage - Bread Machine Version ala James


Regardless of whether you spell it Julekage, Julecage, or Yulecage it is our family's favorite breakfast bread during the Christmas season. The original recipe (which I must find) came down through our family from my father's Bestemor (Grandmother), my Oldemor.

This recipe was reduced from the original 3 loaf recipe to fit in a common bread making machine. It still takes several hours to make, but we don't have to fuss as much to get the bread.

The original version of this recipe can be found here.

This is a 3½ cup sweet bread recipe that almost always rises too much, although not as bad now with the 'turbo' setting and fast yeast. Must be monitored and punctured with a toothpick around the top if it is rising too much. The problem is that the recipe still has too much sugar given that it does not have to go through multiple risings as with the original recipe, but if you put up with the minor hassles it makes a nice loaf. With a different machine you may need to adjust the liquid and/or sugar.
We have found that part of the problem with the loaf rising too much is due to the flour being compacted. The problem goes away if you sift the flour.
All measures are level.

1 C milk (scalded low fat, very warm but not still hot, of course)
5T butter
¼ C fake eggs (or 1 egg white or 1 egg)
¼ C + 1 T sugar
½ t salt
16 pods of cardamon, hand ground (1-2 t)
3½ C bread flour (sifted)
2¼ t yeast (or 1 packet of regular yeast)
    (Jim originally had this at 1T)
We normally scald the milk, then add the cut up butter to the scalded milk while waiting for the milk to cool enough for baking. We also mix the ground caramon with the sifted flour so that we are not left with clumps of caramon in the bread.

This goes in the machine as milk/butter, egg, salt/sugar, flour, cardamon, yeast. Obviously grinding the cardamon requires starting some time in advance if you want it fresh.
We have taken to using a coffee grinder to grind the cardamon rather than the normal mortar and pestle. It is so much easier to measure the caramon into the grinder and punch a button than to play with the mortar and pestle.
The following are added when our machine beeps about 5 min from the end of the second mixing stage (before the last rising). The citron can go in earlier if you like since it is only the raisins that get mashed up if they go in too soon.

3/8 C citron (I chop it to 1/4 original size)
3/8 C raisins (soak in water, then pat dry on paper towel)
I start this stuff after loading the machine, so the raisins have time to plump and dry off, and usually dump in the citron when the second mixing starts.