Every year for so many years I fail to recall, I have made this bread during the holiday season. Why then, I have no idea because the bread is not just for winter or anything in particular. It makes three loaves and a good present; maybe that was the original reason. It also takes more time than ordinary bread; I usually have time off during this season.
2 packages yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups light cream or evaporated milk
2 cups unsifted, unbleached flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp. fresh ground cardamon
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup milk
2 cups rye flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 – 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
In a large bowl dissolve yeast in water. Stir in the cream or evaporated milk. Add the 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled. Stir in the eggs, sugar, butter, golden raisins, and cardamon. Beat until smooth. Add the milk and rye flour and stir until combined. At this point using a dough hook makes it easier. Add the whole wheat flour and enough of the unbleached flour to make a stiff dough. Sprinkle remaining flour onto a board or granite counter top. Knead until smooth. Oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl and turn to grease both sides. Let rise until doubled. Punch down and work into a smooth ball. Divide into three equal portions. Place in three pans of your choosing (I use one regular loaf pan and two cake pans). After dough has risen to double in size, bake in a 350 degree oven. While loaves are still hot, brush with butter. Allow loaves to cool before removing from the pans.
This bread is especially good with Swiss cheese or other similar cheeses and makes a tasty left over turkey sandwich.