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2 pkg active dry yeast
3/4 c warm water
13 oz can undiluted evaporated milk, heated to 110 degrees F
1/2 to 1 c sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp or more crushed cardamom seeds
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 c softened butter
8 to 9 c all purpose flour
egg mixed with milk for glaze
pearl sugar, sliced almonds, or plain sugar for decoration

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the milk, sugar, salt, cardamom, eggs and enough flour to make a batter (about 2 cups). beat until dough is smooth and elastic. Add about 3 cups of flour and beat well. Dough should be smooth and glossy in appearance. Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until dough is stiff. Add the butter; beat until dough looks glossy again. Turn out onto floured board, cover with inverted mixing bowl. Let rest for 15 minutes. Knead until smooth and satiny. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turn dough to grease top, cover lightly and let rise in warm place (about 85 degrees F) until doubled. Punch down; let rise again. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, divide into 3 parts, and divide each part into three. Shape each piece of dough
into a strip 16 inches long by rolling between palms and board. Braid 3 strips together into a straight loaf and pinch the ends together and tuck under. Repeat for second and third loaves. Place on lightly greased baking sheets. Let rise until puffy (1/2 to 1 hour). Glaze loaves with a mixture of beaten egg and milk. Sprinkle with pearl sugar, crushed loaf sugar (sugar cubes) and or sliced almonds. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Do not over bake or loaves will be dry. Makes 3 loaves.
Recipe featured in Bread Daily on 11/05/01.