Okay, so I have to update what I said about the best ever brownies last time. This is my new favorite recipe from Baking with Julia! We made it as part of our Christmas Treat Advent today. I've honestly never had better soft bread in my life. It's slightly sweet with a perfectly balanced hint of cardamom. The sliced almonds and pearl sugar on top add great textural contrast. If you still don't believe how good this is, we baked it tonight and there is only this much left:
I just keep going back for one more slice! Honey makes it even better.
I would never attempt a bow again though. It was harder than the braid and pretty much blended into the loaf. Other than that, I would definitely make this again! Kyle mixed up the dough as written, except we didn't have cardamom seeds, so he just used 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder. I'm pretty sure this would still be good without the pearl sugar, so if you don't have that, give it a try anyway! Here's the recipe and other blogger's experience.