Estonian kringel bread
* 1.5 yeast,
* 125 ml water,
* 500 ml milk,
* 500 g sugar,
* 1 tsp salt,
* 1 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed
* 5 egg yolks,
* 900 g plain flour, sieved
* 225 g butter, melted
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1 tbsp almonds,
* icing sugar, for dusting
1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
2. Stir in the milk, sugar, salt, cardamom, eggs and 200g of the flour, until the mixture forms a batter.
3. Beat until smooth before adding about 300g more flour. Beat well, until the dough is quite smooth and glossy.
4. Stir in the melted butter.
5. Add the remaining flour and mix to a stiff dough. Turn out on a floured board, cover with an upturned bowl and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
6. Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Return the dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl and leave to rise for an hour or so, until about double in bulk.
7. Knead the dough for a further 5 minutes and leave to rise for another hour, until the dough has doubled in size once more.
8. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and divide in half. Roll each piece into a long sausage and shape into two braided loaves or pretzel shapes. Glaze with the beaten egg, add scatter with almonds. Bake for about 1 hour, until golden and firm.