This recipe is a bit richer than most classic recipes. My wife uses it, and I am a bit unclear on exactly where it came from originally. Tove is very good at baking; she has a natural feel for it, and most of her recipes have evolved from classics, to emphasize the particular characteristics that she likes (and that I do too, for that matter). If you are making rusks, this recipe is just a bit too much; lower the butter content to 100 g/3½ oz (⅓ cup) and the sugar to 75 g/2¾ oz (⅓ cup).
Preparation and cooking time: 1½ hours
320 ml/11 fl oz (1¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon) milk
150 g/5 oz (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) butter
1 tablespoon cardamom (optional)
50 g/2 oz yeast
125 g/4½ oz (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
750 g/1 lb 10 oz (5 cups) strong wheat flour, plus extra for dusting
Combine the milk, butter and any spices (if using) in a small pan and heat until the butter has melted. Leave to cool down to just above room temperature and dissolve the yeast into the milk.
Transfer the mix to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the egg, sugar, salt and flour and knead for about 10 minutes or until very smooth, shiny and elastic. The dough shouldn’t adhere to the sides of the bowl as it’s being worked.
Cover the bowl and leave to rise for 20–40 minutes, or until doubled in size (it will depend on the temperature in your kitchen).
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work counter and knead briefly. Roll into whatever shape your recipe calls for, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with baking (parchment) paper.
Cover and leave to rise until almost doubled in size; around 75% is fine for this rise. The time will again vary, but will generally be a little shorter and 15–20 minutes should be about right.
When ready to bake, follow the instructions for each particular recipe. Cool on wire racks.