Homemade Christmas Traditions
This recipe best resembles the Norwegian Christmas cake that my grandmother and I would bake together and deliver to some cherished friends. We’d wrap the cake and place it in a lovely basket along with pinecones, apples, oranges, cheese and jam.
I still remember the heartfelt gratitude when we dropped off the basket and the satisfaction Grandma felt in giving something homemade.
Norwegian Christmas Cake: A Trebek Family Tradition
Here are the INGREDIENTS you’ll need:
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter
2 ½ cups whole milk
1.75 oz fresh yeast or 7 teaspoons active dry yeast
7 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
1 ½ cups raisins
1 cup candied citrus peel or other candied fruits, finely diced
+ One whisked egg for brushing tops of loaves before baking
Here are the DIRECTIONS:
In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat and add milk to butter. Allow to cool until lukewarm.
In a large bowl, combine the yeast, flour, sugar, salt and cardamom.
Pour in the butter and milk and stir well. You will have slightly wet dough, which is perfect. (But not too sticky)
Add more four if dough is very sticky and difficult to work with.
Fold in raisins and candied peel/fruit.
Kneed softly for about 3-5 minutes, adding just enough flour necessary to keep the bread from sticking to the countertop.
The raisins and candied peel/fruits will have a tendency to fall out, just push them back into the dough and continue on.
Grease a large bowl, place the dough in it and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow your dough to rise until double in size about an hour.
Divide the dough in thirds and from large right round loaves.
Place on a greased baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper.
Cover the loaves with a clean dishcloth and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
15 minutes before you plan to bake your bread, preheat the oven to 400F.
Once ready to bake, brush the loaves with the whisked egg.
Bake on the bottom rack of your oven until the loaves become a golden brown, about 30 – 35 minutes.
Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack before cutting.
It’s challenging to be patient! But the wait will be worth it! This bread is so delicious while it is warm from the oven and served with butter, cheese or jam.
This bread will also keep in a plastic bag on the counter for 3-4 days, and you can freeze it.
Recipe adapted from the www.Tine.no, the Norwegian National Dairy Cooperative and makes 3 loaves.
By JEAN TREBEK
Jean is a Professional Religious Science Practitioner, Reiki Master and Sound Healer. She grew up on Long Island, NY, and now lives in Los Angeles. She has two wonderful adult children, Matthew and Emily, with her beloved late husband, Alex. Jean enjoys taking long walks, watching movies, and traveling. She is very grateful for her family, friends, Luna (the dog) and good coffee.
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