Posted by: reball | January 19, 2010

The Promised Recipe – Nissua

This is the promised recipe from yesterday’s post!  It was well worth the effort!  Nissua-  a Braided Finnish bread recipe that is quite delightful.  It is lightly spiced with Cardamom- Something, I had never tasted before.  It turns out it is a member of the Ginger family and not only has a wonderful taste but a great smell as well!  Cardamom can be found at most grocery stores.  It can be quite expensive but I was able to find small containers of Tone  Brand at Buehler’s for $0.99. 

This bread would be perfect  to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea!  My dear neighbor told me about this bread but couldn’t find a recipe.  I found this one and have adapted it to a more manageable size!   When I made this last night it seemed like a huge amount of dough to work with!  I ended up with 2 loaves measuring nearly 18 inches each and 14 gigantic Cinnamon Rolls.  (This recipe lends itself wonderfully to Cinnamon Rolls.  I’ve also included my adaptation for those at the end of the recipe.)

 I hope that you give this a try and enjoy it as much as we do!  I apologize for the length of this post but hey- You are actually getting 3 recipes for the price of 1!

Nissua Braided Bread or Cinnamon Rolls
Yields 2 loaves
1 cups milk
1/4 cup margarine
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
5- 6 cups bread flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons milk
Begin by combining the yeast with warm water and 1 T Sugar in the bowl of a Kitchenaid Mixer.  (You can also use a hand mixer or your hands.  It just adds a bit more work!)  Allow this mixture to set approximately 10 minutes.  In the meantime- heat the milk in a small saucepan over a medium heat until small bubbles begin to form.  Stir in the margarine, salt, and sugar until well combined.  Allow to cool slightly.  We don’t want to kill the yeast by adding this while to hot!
When the milk mixture has cooled slowly add to the yeast.  With a dough hook combine the two and slowly stir in Eggs, Cardamom and Flour.  I recommend starting with the lesser amount of flour and adding more as needed.  When the dough begins to pull from the sides of the bowl transfer to a flour dusted countertop.  Knead for 6-8 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic!  Place in a greased bowl, cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm area until doubled.  Approximately 45 minutes.  I normally turn my oven to 350 degrees for 4 minutes. Turn it OFF and place my bread inside to rise.
When dough has doubled punch down.  You want all of the air out.  Divide dough into 2 sections and divide each section into 3 portions.  You want to roll the dough into snakes.  It’s easiest to roll from the center out.  Braid the dough and pinch the ends under.  Allow to rise once again for 20-30 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden.
Glaze: Combine all ingredients and pour over cooled loaves!  Enjoy!
* To make Cinnamon Rolls out of this bread instead make the following changes:  After dough has risen the first time divide into 2 portions.  Roll dough into a large rectangle approximately 1/2 inch thick. 
Combine 2 C Brown Sugar & 2 T Cinnamon.  This will be enough filling for both portions of dough.
Spread 1/2 C Butter (Very Soft Room Temperature) over each section of  dough.  Top each with half of the Brown Sugar/ Cinnamon Mixture.  Roll the dough up starting with the longest edge.  Slice into 1 1/2 inch sections and place in well greased 9 x 13 pans.  Bake the same amount of time as the bread.  Allow to cool and frost with my special Buttercream Icing!
Buttercream Icing:
1 C Butter, Softened
4 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
4 C Powdered Sugar
1 t Cinnamon
1 t Vanilla
2-4 T Milk
Combine all ingredients except milk.  Slowly add the milk until you reach a spreadable consistency!

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