I love baking breads and I had to share my new found love on this day “World Bread day”. I like to bake especially wheat breads. But today I wanted to raise the bar and bake a sweet bread from a different continent.
Pulla is a Finnish style sweet bread which can be baked in either a bun or roll. They are different from American style cinnamon rolls as pulla is traditionally made with some cardamom. They also add raisins to it sometimes. Its not only delicious but it is so satisfying. The aroma can get your mood to a high and all you want is to grab a hot piece; straight out of the oven then and there.
When I first traveled to Finland I felt liberated. I traveled when I was working, unmarried and with my own money. Not that I’m complaining now but your first travel experience will always be “special”. Baking bread also makes me feel liberated and I think most of you agree with me on this ;). I never got to taste pulla when I visited Finland, but today I know, I would have loved to have tasted it. However, I did taste a lot of berries and I shouldn’t be complaining.
1tbs (15gms) active dry yeast or fresh yeast
1 glass luke warm water
1tsp cardamom powder
2tbs raw sugar
1tbs cinnamon powder
1tsp rock salt
some sugar to sprinkle (I used raw sugar)
- In a glass of lukewarm water, dissolve sugar and yeast.Allow it to stand for 10 minutes until frothy.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the measured flour, yeast mixture, and form a soft dough, adding more water if necessary.
- Cream the 1tsp fat, cardamon, salt separately and work into the dough. Tip onto a floured work surface and knead for 3-4 minutes until elastic.
- Form into a ball and return to the mixing bowl. Cover with cling wrap and leave to rest for 20 minutes or double in size.
- Knock back the dough (punch it in the middle and let all the air escape) and knead again for 3-4 minutes.Roll the dough flat with the help of a rolling pin.Mix butter, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Note that the butter should be at room temperature and not cold.
- Spread the cinnamon mixture on the rolled dough and roll into a braid or any desired shape.
- Lay the dough on a parchment sheet.
- Leave it in a warm spot for 20 minutes or double in size.
- Preheat the oven and brush the bread with some egg and sprinkle some sugar on top.
- Bake at 200 degrees centigrade for 20 minutes or until the surface is browned. My pulla had a slightly burnt sugar taste as I baked it for 25 minutes.However, it tasted good.
- The bread sounds hollow when done. Allow it to cool on a wire rack.
Store in an air tight container for 3 to 4 days. It is best eaten warm with a nice cuppa coffee.
A lot of the recipes that I found online use a lot of egg and milk, which I found not necessary. I’ve tweaked the recipe to my liking and used egg only at the last stage for brushing to give the bread a nice crust. The recipe has been adapted from here.
You might also like the recipe of whole wheat bread (organic)