For the Bread
1⅓ Cups milk, heated to 115°
⅔ Cup sugar
4 Tsp. ground cardamom
3 Eggs, lightly beaten
6½ Cups flour
1 Tsp. kosher salt
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes, at room temperature
1 Tbsp. heavy cream
2 (¼-oz) Packages active dry yeast
1 Egg yolk
Crushed lump sugar, for garnish (optional)
Sliced almonds, for garnish (optional)
Making French Toast
1 Loaf cardamom bread, sliced into ½ thick slices and set to dry over night
1 Tsp Vanilla
2 Tbsp Flour
¼ Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Cardamom
1 Cup Whole milk
Butter for cooking
For the Bread
In the bowl of your electric mixer with the mixer paddle installed combine the milk, yeast and 3 tsp. of cardamom. Set aside for about 10 minutes until it is foamy.
Add the lightly beaten eggs and mix until combined.
Gradually add in the flour and salt, mix until a dough forms.
Switch out your mixer blade for your dough hook. Knead on medium for about 2 minutes. While the dough is kneading slowly add batches of your butter, mixing well to incorporate before adding the next batch, this should take about 3-4 minutes. Knead for another 4 minutes after you have added the last of the butter.
Move the dough to a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about an hour. After the dough has doubled, punch it down and cover again and let rise for another 30 minutes until fully risen.
While your dough is resting grease your baking pan (a half sheet pan works best). If you would prefer you can also use a parchment lined baking sheet.
Turn your dough out on a lightly floured surface and split it into two equal pieces. Set one aside and split the other into 3 equal pieces.
Roll out the dough balls into ropes, about 16″ long, and braid them together on the baking pan. Tuck the ends of the braid under the loaf. Repeat for the second piece of dough you set aside. Cover the loaves with plastic wrap and let the rest for about 20 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375º F. Combine the remaining cardamom with the cream and egg yolk in a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Brush the braided loaves with egg mixture and sprinkle them with sugar.Bake one loaf at a time for about 20-25 minutes, until they are golden brown.
Make the bread a day or so ahead of time.
For the French Toast
Preheat your oven to 350º.
In a large shallow bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla, flour, sugar, salt, and cardamom.
Gradually whisk in the milk until a smooth batter forms.
In a large frying pan over frying pan over medium heat a tablespoon of butter to coat the pan.
Dip the slices of bread in the batter for about 15 seconds on each side.
Place the battered slices of bread in the hot frying pan, make sure to leave space around each slice. Cook until nicely browned about three minutes on each side. Once cooked place on cooling rack.
Repeat until all of the slices of bread are cooked adding more butter as needed.
Serve with maple syrup.