Place the milk and ground cardamom seeds in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted. Set aside to reduce in temperature to lukewarm.
Meanwhile, sift the flour, ginger, yeast, superfine sugar, and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the center and mix in 1 egg.
Once the milk is lukewarm, pour in the dry mixture and stir until it comes together to make a soft, sticky dough.
Knead for 10 minutes using an electric dough hook until it is smooth and springs back a little. If kneading by hand, transfer to an oiled surface and knead for 10 minutes. The dough will be very sticky to begin with, but do not add any additional flour.
Transfer to a clean bowl greased with oil. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes until it has nearly doubled in size.
To make the filling, beat the butter, sugar, zest, spices, and salt together until soft and spreadable. Set aside.
Lightly flour a clean surface and dust your hands in flour. Tip out the dough, turn once to lightly coat in the flour, and divide it in half.
Roll one piece into a large rectangle, about 16 x 20 inches.
Spread half of the filling on top.
Fold one third of the dough over the second third. Then take the third piece and fold over the first and second piece. You will now have three layers of dough that look like how you would fold a letter.
Cut the dough into 6 long strips approximately 3/4-inch wide.
Twist each strip together into a knot, tucking any ends underneath, and place evenly spread on a large baking sheet lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough and gingerbread filling and place on a second lined baking sheet.
Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and leave once again in a warm place for 30 minutes until nearly doubled in size. For a consistent warm place to rise dough, place a bowl of boiling water in the base of a cold oven and place the dough bowl covered in plastic wrap at the top.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Brush very lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
Chocoholic – Add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder to the filling or 2 tablespoons to the dough! Yum!
Go nutty – Sprinkle ½ cup finely chopped pecans or hazelnuts over the filling before folding.
About this recipe
Recipe from Gingerbread Wonderland: 30 Magical Houses, Cookies, & Cakes, by Mima Sinclair.
Want more great recipes like this? Follow us on Facebook.