This Recipe Will Be The Star of Your Christmas Breakfast Table

Photo by Conor Harrigan

This recipe, from the Goodale Farms edition of the Loaves & Fishes Farm Series Cookbooks, features everything we love about holiday baking: delicious spices, long-held family history, and a finished product that makes an excellent, edible gift.

“My family has been making Swedish Braid for generations,” says Licia Kassim Householder, Loaves & Fishes’ executive pastry chef and co-author of Loaves & Fishes’ Farm Series Cookbooks. “It’s a really cardamom-heavy yeast bread. It originated with my great-great-grandmother and was passed down to my grandpa, then to my aunt, and now me. Just add green and red sprinkles, wrap them, put a bow on them, and distribute them to family and friends.”

Not even Santa could do better than that.


Swedish Braid
Makes 2 loaves


  • 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) salted butter, melted, plus more for brushing
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ cup coarse sugar, such as sanding sugar


  • Combine yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Warm milk and butter together and cool to lukewarm. Pour over yeast and sugar and let proof for 5 minutes, until foamy.
  • Add in egg and stir until combined. Add in flour, salt, and cardamom and knead together on a lightly floured surface until the dough is tacky but doesn’t stick to your hands. Cover with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free area until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Once dough has doubled in size, divide evenly in half. Divide each half into thirds and form a traditional braid to make two braided loaves. Tuck in the ends and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush both loaves entirely with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Let rise again, uncovered, until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffy and golden brown. Serve warm with butter.