Yulekake - Norwegian Christmas Bread

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Total Time
4hrs 30mins
Prep
3 hrs
Cook
1 hr 30 mins

This recipe has been in my husband's Norweigan side of the family for generations. It was passed on from his great grandmother to his grandmother and so on. I noticed two recipes already posted in Recipezaar (julekake), but this one is prepared a bit different. It's a very dry fruit bread. Definitely used for dunking in your coffee or slathered with butter. I am not a big fan of it, but I make it at Christmastime for my husband as he adores it.

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. in a heatproof bowl, put all raisins together and cover with approximately 5 cups of boiling water to soften. set aside.
  2. mix the 2 packages of dry yeast with 1/2 cup of warm water. mix well and let sit.
  3. boil 2 cups of milk until scalded. turn down heat to medium and add the 3/4 cup of butter until melted. remove from heat and set aside.
  4. in a large bowl measure 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 of the container of cardamom. mix well.
  5. add the two beaten eggs to the dry mixture. then add the milk/butter mixture. gradually add 6 of the 8 cups of flour and the dissolved yeast.
  6. drain the raisins. add the raisins and citron to the mix. now add the remaining 2 cups of flour.
  7. time to knead the bread! i use my heavy-duty mixer as it is easier on my hands and back. if manual knead, place dough on floured breadboard and knead completely.
  8. once the bread is kneaded, place into a large pre-floured bowl and cover with a dish towel or cloth allowing it to rise for 1 hour.
  9. after the dough has risen, cut it into two loaves. place each into a pre-greased, pre-floured baking loaf pan.
  10. again, cover each loaf pan and allow to rise for another hour.
  11. before placing the loaves into a pre-heated 300 degree oven, cut the top of each loaf with an X design, or a fancy cut design of your choice, and brush with 1 beaten egg.
  12. bake the loaves for 45 minutes at 300 degrees. increase the heat to 325 degrees for the next 30-45 minutes (test after 30 minutes with a toothpick for doneness - make take longer, make take less depending on your oven temperature).
  13. remove the loaves from the oven and brush with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
  14. let loaves cool completely before removing from pans.
  15. note: if you choose to omit the citron, which i do often, use 2 cups each of the golden and regular raisins instead.