1 1/4 cups milk, scalded and cooled
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
Mix the cooled milk and butter together, add egg, sugar, salt and cardamom. Stir until combined. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it soften a few minutes. Stir in half the flour and leave, covered, overnight. In the morning, stir down the sponge and knead in the rest of the flour to make a stiff dough. Divide into 3 equal parts and roll each one into ropes about as thick as your thumb. Starting in the center, braid the ropes together to both ends. You can bake the braid this way or form it into a wreath. If you make straight braids, you may have to cut the braid in halves or thirds to get them to fit your baking pans. I use a large pizza pan and make a wreath with the whole braid. Let it rise, covered with a tea towel, until it is doubled and very puffy. Brush with milk or whisked egg and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until nicely browned and hollow sounding when tapped.
Make a thin glaze of powdered sugar and milk and drizzle it over the warm loaf, then sprinkle sliced almonds in the warm glaze.
Not a NESTLÉ®-tested recipe.