Julekake Recipe (Norwegian Christmas Bread)
A staple in Norway's Christmas celebration, Julekake (Norwegian Christmas Bread), is a deliciously soft bread that you can easily make at home. Even without a stand mixer -- give this Christmas bread a try!
For the Christmas bread dough:
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp cup butter, unsalted & melted
- 1 cup milk, lukewarm
- 1 & 1/2 tsp active dry yeast, heaping
- 2 & 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cardamom seeds, freshly ground
- 1/2 cup raisins, heaping
Preparing the julekake:
Combine yeast with a lukewarm cup of milk. Mix and set aside until foamy.
Using the stand mixer bowl, combine and mix flour, sugar, salt, and cardamom.
Add the yeast mixture and melted butter.
Mix until you get a smooth dough. (Manual kneading of the dough for julekake is also ok if you don't have a stand mixer).
Proofing the julekake dough:
Form the dough into a ball and place it into a large, oiled bowl.
Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside until double in size. It usually takes about 90 minutes for me.
Deflate your julekake dough by punching in the middle and use your hands to flatten it on the counter-top.
Add the raisins and knead a bit to incorporate evenly.
Form it into a ball again; place it on top of a baking tray, lined with a baking paper.
Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and set aside for about 30-45 minutes, or until it has slightly increased in size.
Baking your Norwegian Christmas bread:
When the julekake dough is almost ready, preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
Combine egg with a tablespoon of milk for your egg wash.
Remove the kitchen towel covering your julekake and brush the top and sides (evenly) with egg wash.
Place the tray in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top of the julekake has turned into a darker color.
Set aside to cool a bit.
Slice your freshly baked julekake, then serve.
Cook's Tip #1: You can use a bit of liquor in julekake by soaking the raisins in your favorite liquor for 10-15 minutes and then drain them before adding to the dough.
Cook's Tip #2: If you can, buy cardamom seeds and ground them yourself instead of purchasing the powdered one. The difference in aroma and flavor of the resulting julekake is noticeable.
Cook's Tip #3: It's a very manageable dough, so manual kneading is an excellent alternative for preparing this Norwegian Christmas bread, if you don't have a stand mixer.
Cook's Tip #4: Feel free to split the dough into two small loaves of julekake, if that's how you want to serve it.
Variation #1: You can use all-purpose flour if that's what you have. But the result is better with bread flour.
Variations #2: You can also add sultanas and other candied fruits to julekake if you prefer.
Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 188mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 429IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg