I've only made this a couple times. It's a Finnish bread and a favorite in the local bakeries. It makes great French Toast! Traditionally, it's a 3-strand braid, but this is my second attempt making it with a 5-strand.
Makes two braids...
114g AP Flour
0.5g Active Dry Yeast
1) Dissolve yeast in water. Combine all ingredients and ferment at 70 deg F for 12-14 hours.
646g AP Flour
281g Scalded Whole Milk
4.8g Active Dry Yeast
3 large eggs (beaten)
75g Butter (softened to room temp)
5.5g Cardamom (2 tsp)
1) Combine flour, salt, sugar, and cardamom in a bowl. Whisk them to mix.
2) Scald milk and cool to less than 100 deg F. Dissolve yeast in milk.
3) Add eggs and milk to the dry ingredients and mix until flours are wetted. Rest 10 minutes.
4) Slowly add the butter while mixing. Continue mixing until the dough comes back together. Rest 10 minutes.
5) Four sets of bowl kneading to develop gluten with 10 minutes rests between sets. Knead for 2-3 minutes on first set.
6) Place in oiled bowl and let double.
7) Divide dough in half and then split each half into the number of strands you want to braid.
8) Shape each piece of dough into a ball and let rest for 15-20 minutes.
9) Roll out each dough to approximately 16" in length using a rolling pin. Flour each side of the dough to avoid sticking to counter top.
10) Tightly roll the dough lengthwise into a long tube and pinch the seam shut. Let the strand rest on the counter (seam side down) for 5-10 minutes to relax gluten.
11) Braid dough loosely and tuck the ends under the loaf.
12) Cover the dough and let rise till doubled.
13) Preheat oven to 350 Deg F while dough is rising. Apply a light egg wash to dough and bake for 25-35 minutes until top is browned and internal temp is 190-195 deg F.
14) Remove from oven and fully cool before slicing.
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