Finnish Biscuit | Bisketti or Nisu
Source of recipe: Finnish Touches - Recipes and Traditions
This 160 page book covers Finnish traditions, holidays, history, famous Finns, Finnish settlements in America and over 60 pages of Finnish recipes.
"My first experience with Nisu was at the Suomi Bakery in Houghton, Michigan, where they make Nisu French Toast. The Pannukakku at Suomi Bakery is also quite tasty, so I always have trouble deciding which to order for breakfast.
The following recipe is quite popular among our friends, and with me! Diane makes it with freshly crushed cardamom which enhances the aroma and taste considerably."
"This is the popular bread that is baked weekly in many Finnish-American homes. It is a sweet white bread, flavored with cardamom, braided and baked. Sometimes the dough is shaped into cinnamon rolls or other types of coffee cakes. The popular korppu or dry toast is made by slicing this bread and rebaking the slices until they are crisp. Some of the old-timers refer to this bread as nisu, from the old Swedish-Finnish word for wheat."
2 packages active dry yeast
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the milk, sugar, salt, caramom, eggs and enough flour to make a batter (about 2 cups). Beat until dough is smooth and elastic. Add about 3 cups of the flour and beat well. Dough should be smooth and glossy in appearance. Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until dough is stiff. Add the butter; beat until dough looks glossy again. Turn out onto floured board, and cover with inverted mixing bowl. Let rest for 15 minutes. Knead until smooth and satiny. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turn dough to grease top, cover lightly, and let rise in a warm place (about 85°F) until doubled. Punch down; let rise again. Turn out onto lightly floured board, divide into three parts and divide each part into three. Shape each piece of dough into a strip 16 inches long by rolling between palms and board. Braid three strips together into a straight loaf and pinch ends together and tuck under. Repeat for second and third loaves. Place on lightly greased baking sheets. Let rise until puffy (1/2 to 1 hour). Glaze loaves with a mixture of beaten egg and milk. Sprinkle with pearl sugar, crushed loaf sugar, and/or sliced almonds. Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overbake or loaves will be dry.
Makes three loaves.
Diane's notes: Put butter in earlier. Bake at 375°
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