Julekake is a Norwegian Christmas Bread which is really easy to make. The original recipe called for candied citron which I think is what we reffer to as “Sukat” in Denmark. I had neither on hand but I did have candied orange peel which I believe is more or less in the same family. The candied orange peel does render a very unique flavor to the bread, a flavor you either love or hate :) So if your not a fan, you can always just leave it out or maybe replace it with some dried cranberries, yum!
The bread is served either warm or toasted with soft butter or some jam. I would like to point out that the unique candied orange flavor goes really well with Nutella, although I don’t think Nutella would be a traditional way of serving the bread, but delicious nonetheless.
Julekake (makes 1 loaf)
1/4 cup butter
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup candied orange peel, diced (candid citron or Sukat)
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup raisins
1 egg, for egg wash
Melt butter and set aside. Combine water, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and milk in a small sauce pan, heat to no more than 110 degrees F and remove from heat. Sprinkle yeast over warm milk, give a quick stir and let sit 10 minutes. Place fruit in a small bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of the flour, mix to coat fruit with flour, set aside. Pour milk/yeast mixture into bowl of stand-mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add egg, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, cardamom and butter, start mixer on medium-low. Add flour in increments and finally add the fruit. Place dough on flour dusted work surface and knead briefly until smooth. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean, dry tea-towel and let rise for 1 hour or until double in size. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Give dough a quick knead to deflate and place on baking sheet. Cover dough with tea-towel and let rise for another 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly beat egg to make an egg wash. Brush dough with egg wash and bake for 30 minutes. Note: you may need to cover bread loosely with foil after the first 20 minutes of baking to avoid over-browning. Serve warm or toasted with butter or jam. Glædelig Jul and Merry Christmas!
Source: adapted from Mrs. Sig Score