Serves 40 (or, in our family, 12)
- 2 packages dry yeast
- ½ cup warm water
- 1 cup butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups light cream, scalded
- 2 eggs
- 8 cups flour
- ½ cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
Sprinkle yeast over 105°F–115°F water in a warm large bowl and stir to dissolve. Mix 1 cup butter, sugar, cardamom, and salt with cream and cool to lukewarm. Stir into yeast, then beat in eggs, one at a time. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. You will probably have to turn dough onto a board and knead in the final cup. Knead dough about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased large bowl, turn so dough is greased all over, cover with cloth, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place 1–½ to 1–¾ hours until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down, turn onto a lightly floured board, and knead 1–2 minutes. Divide dough into 3 or 4 equal parts, depending upon whether you want large- or medium-size rings. Roll each piece of dough into a rectangle (about 14″ by 18″ for medium-size rings, 18″ by 22″ for large). Spread lightly with remaining ½ cup butter; mix brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over butter, then roll up jelly-roll style and shape into a ring. Using sharp scissors, make diagonal snips deep (but not too deep) into each ring every 2″ and turn cut-side up. Place rings on lightly greased baking sheets, cover with cloth, and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk, 30 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F. When rings have risen, bake 20–30 minutes until nicely browned and hollow-sounding when tapped. Transfer to wire racks to cool and, if you like, glaze and decorate. Serve warm or at room temperature. To reheat, wrap in foil and heat 10 minutes at 350°F.
I often make ½ a recipe. Also, you can refrigerate after first rising then proceed the next morning. If you do, increase yeast by 1–½ to 2 times.