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Pulla

Pulla is Finnish Cardamom bread.  My neighbour from many years ago use to make a fantastic Pulla loaf and gave me the recipe which was never a success for me.  Now I have a recipe that works.

Pulla is only slightly sweet and spiced - more like a sweetened bread than a sweet bread.  If you would like a sweeter treat, then try Korvapuusti which is Pulla dough rolled and filled with sugar and cinnamon.  See below.

I use the bread maker to start this loaf but it can be prepared by hand if you prefer.  The recipe makes one braid and you could make it into a normal loaf shape if you prefer a bread that can be sliced and toasted.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs, beaten - reserve 1 tablespoon for the glaze
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons soft butter
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 3 cups white bread flour
  • 3 teaspoons instant yeast

For the glaze:

  • reserved beaten egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water to make an egg wash
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Method:

  1. Place all dough ingredients in the bread machine pan
  2. Program the machine on bread dough setting which usually includes a proof time.
  3. When dough is ready – it’s doubled in size - remove it from the pan and place onto a floured bench.
  4. Punch the dough down, fold into a ball shape, cover with plastic wrap and rest it for 5 minutes.
  5. Cut into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into a rope about 50 cm long.
  6. Line a tray with baking paper and braid the ropes directly on the paper but fairly loosely to allow for rising.
  7. Tuck the ends under to neaten and seal.
  8. Lay a sheet of cling film loosely over the bread and allow the dough to rise until doubled.
  9. Brush the loaf with the egg wash and sprinkle with almonds and sugar.
  10. Bake in preheated hot oven (190°C) oven for about 35 minutes or until the crust takes on a golden brown colour.
  11. Cool on a wire rack and cut when cold.
  12. Serve with butter and honey.

Tips:

To make Korvapuusti, you will need the following:
  • demerara sugar or coffee crystals (raw sugar if you don't have either of these)
  • soft butter
  • ground cinnamon
Roll out the dough to a long rectangle and spread with butter.  Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon then roll tightly with the seam placed down.  Cut the dough into triangles and place them with the point facing upwards.  Press your finger on the point to force the layers to bulge outwards.  Allow to rise until double then glaze with the egg wash.  Sprinkle demerara or raw sugar on top and bake in a moderately hot oven for about 10 minutes.