All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast. ~John Gunther

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


julekake means "christmas cake" in Norwegian - but really this is a yeast bread with dried fruit bits in it. it's so good.

Julekake - Norwegian Christmas bread: makes two loaves

Mix dry ingredients together in a very large bowl:
1.5 liters of flour
250 grams of sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons of cardamom

Prepare your yeast:
mix two packets of dry yeast with 1 deciliter of lukewarm water and 2 teaspoons of sugar
let sit for two minutes

Mix wet ingredients together in a bowl:
400 grams of melted butter (about 3 and a half sticks)
5 deciliters of milk
yeast mixture

Pour the wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients.
knead with your hands for about ten minutes or using the dough hook on your standmixer
keep extra flour and milk nearby if you need to adjust the texture of your dough
it's ready when it comes together in a ball without leaving bits of itself behind in the bowl.

cover the ball of dough in the ball and let it rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes

put 2 deciliters of raisins and 1 deciliter of candied citrus peel (lemon and/or orange) chopped to about the same size as raisins aside.

When the dough ball has risen by at least 50%, knead the raisins and candied citrus peel into the dough until it is thoroughly incorporated. Then cut the dough in half and shape it into two round balls. Set the balls on a buttered baking sheet in a warm place (on top of your preheating oven, perhaps?) and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise for 45 more minutes.

Brush each loaf with egg white or milk.

Leave the loaves on the cookie sheet and put into preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until quite brown. if they are big they can be raw inside - and it's hard to overcook this guy, it's ok if it gets a little dry, you're going to eat it with butter on it anyways.

Remove from oven and immediately set loaves on to cooling racks. Don't cut into them until they are completely cooled!

The bread will last for quite awhile. It is best eaten toasted with butter. so good.

A story here - this recipe is adapted from the scanned in copies of a norwegian cookbook that's missing a critical page that I got from my mom. So let's just say it has taken some trial and error to get these right! still working on it.

Also, fair warning, this takes about 5 hours to make. And that's if you're on your game.