A sweet, Finnish dessert bread flavored with cardamom.
Ingredients (serves 144)
Add enough flour to make a batter, about 2 cups. Beat until the dough is elastic and smooth.
Add another 3 cups of the flour and beat well, until the dough is glossy and smooth.
Add the butter and beat again until glossy.
Add the remaining flour and beat until the dough is stiff.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Place the bowl over the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Knead dough for about 15 minutes, until smooth like satin. Place the dough in a lightly greased mixing bowl, turning the dough to grease the top. Cover it with a clean dishtowel, and place in a warm area to let it rise to about double in size, about 1 hour.
Punch down, and let it rise again to nearly double in size again.
Preheat an oven to 400F (205C).
Turn the dough out again onto a floured surface. Divide into thirds, and divide each third into thirds again.
Roll each piece of dough into 12 to 16 inch strips. Braid 3 of the strips into a loaf. Repeat with the other sets of three, to end up with three braided loaves.
Put the braided loaves onto a greased baking sheet and let rise for about 20 minutes.
Brush loaves with remaining loaves and sprinkle each with a bit of sugar.
Bake at 400F (205C) for 25 to 30 minutes. The bottoms burn easily so check occasionally for doneness.