Sprinkle yeast into a small bowl and pour the
warm water on it. Let stand for 10 minutes, then stir to dissolve.
Mix flour, cinnamon, and cardamom in a large bowl. Make a well in the
center and pour in yeast/water mixture. Using a wooden spoon, incorporate
some of the flour into the water--just enough to form a soft paste. (Don't
try to completely incorporate--there should be quite a bit of dry flour
left at this point.) Cover bowl with a towel and leave until frothy and
risen, about 20 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, oil, egg, and salt.
Add to the risen flour mixture and combine thoroughly. Turn dough out onto
a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is
pliable. (If it's too wet, keep adding flour in small amounts.)
Let dough rest 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly oil the bowl, put the dough
in it and re-cover with the towel. Let dough rise in a warm place until it
has tripled in size, 2-3 hours. Punch down dough, knead it a bit more, and
cut it into two equal pieces. Cut each of the two pieces into three equal
pieces (You should have 6 total pieces at this point). Roll each piece
into a straight rope. Braid three ropes together and repeat so that you
end up with two braided loaves.
Sprinkle baking sheets with a little cornmeal, or line them with parchment
paper. Place loaves on the sheets, cover, and let rise until doubled in
size, about 40 minutes. Glaze loaves with extra beaten egg. Bake at 350F
for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Es, es! Eat, eat! Es gezunterheyt! Eat in health!
Leteavon! For appetite! (Hebrew)
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