The Fresh Loaf

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Recipe for Finnish Cardamom Buns (Pulla)

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Julie J's picture
Julie J

Recipe for Finnish Cardamom Buns (Pulla)


My Finnish Mother Inlaw's recipe! It is really good!


Finnish Cardamom Buns (Pulla)



4 tsp. active dry yeast


2 ½ cups milk, heated to lukewarm


1 tbsp. crushed cardamom (not ground cardamom **)


1 stick butter, very soft


1 tsp. salt


1 cup sugar


Approx. 7 ½ cups flour


1 egg for the pulla, beaten (plus 1 later for brushing the pulla)


 


Heat milk in pan on stove to lukewarm. Pour milk into large bread bowl and stir in the yeast. Let sit for about 7 minutes to proof. Add all ingredients except the flour and butter and stir well. Stir in about 3 or 4 cups of flour, then add the softened butter and mix it pretty well into mixture. Add the rest of the flour (you will probably have to use your hands to mix and knead it now). Knead for about 10 minutes. Cover bowl with lid or dish towel and let rise in a sunny & warm place for about 1 to 1 ½ hours.


Lightly flour table and remove pulla with a dough scraper to the table. I cut it into 2 pieces to make it easier to handle, and cover half of the dough with dish towel to keep moist. Roll one piece into a log shape and cut pieces off with the dough scraper and roll into a ball, maybe a little bigger than a golf ball. I put about 12 pieces on a jelly roll pan that has either been greased or has parchment paper on it. Parchment works better. Cover with dish towel and let sit at least 15 minutes to rise again before baking it. The other pans will sit longer than that, but it is okay! Use other dough the same way, and cover for 15 min.


About 5 minutes before baking, get some cold butter out of the fridge and 1 egg. Beat egg in a small bowl and you will need a pastry brush and white sugar too. Take your thumb and make an indentation in each pulla bun on the first pan. Put a small piece of cold butter into center of each bun. Brush each bun with beaten egg and then take a small amount of white sugar and sprinkle on top of buns. Try not to get too much sugar on bottom of pan because the pulla will get black, burnt sugar rings!


Pulla burns easily, so watch it carefully! I bake them at 400 degrees and bake for about 12 to 14 minutes. I preheat my oven for about 20 minutes too. Pulla likes a really hot oven. I also put my oven rack on the highest level.


For Stale Pulla: Take pulla and fry in butter in the frying pan until browned. Let cool enough to spread with strawberry jam and top with whipped cream! Yum!


** I bring home crushed cardamom from Finland, and you can only buy whole pods of cardamom or ground cardamom in the U.S. You can make it with ground cardamom, but I don't think you will get the same bite of flavor with the ground that you do with the crushed cardamom. You bite into the seeds and get a nice burst of flavor with the crushed cardamom. You can order cardamom seeds online without the green pod, and crush them in a coffee grinder until they have a sand-like consistency. The crushed cardamom feels like sand. I've tried taking the green pod off the whole pod of cardamom and it was such a task, that I would order the seeds online! Enjoy!


Julie J


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Can you post a picture of it, Julie? --Pamela

ejm's picture
ejm

Thank you for posting this recipe, Julie! Just one clarification please: am I right that "a stick of butter" is a 1/4 lb (1/2 cup)? I googled to learn that much but just wanted to make sure.


What to do with stale pulla sounds fabulous! But this bread sounds like it must be really wonderful. How do you make sure there is any pulla left over to become stale?


-Elizabeth

ejm's picture
ejm

I'm planning on making Pulla today.


Question about shaping: Should I make certain that each ball of dough is NOT touching another after it has risen? Or is it desirable for them all to grow together on the pan so that they have to be pulled apart after they are baked? (I somehow doubt that the Finnish "pulla" and English "pull" have quite the same connotations.)


Or does it matter?


-Elizabeth

Julie J's picture
Julie J

Elizabeth,

I keep them separated on the pan!! I use a large, jelly roll pan and put 12 buns on one sheet. They are pretty close together, but not touching. I will try to post a picture the next time I make them! Let me know how they turn out!! I love them myself! I am going to send you guys a recipe for Finnish gingerbread cookies soon too, as soon as I type it on my word processor!

If you want to make the buns prettier, you can use the larger pearl sugar on top instead of the regular white sugar....the Finns take their dough and divide it into 3 parts, then they make buns out of 1/3 of the dough, and make 2 braided loaves with the other part. The braids are baked about 20 minutes at 400 degrees, and they also put sliced almonds on top of the braided ones, along with the pearl sugar!

Take care,
Julie

ejm's picture
ejm

They're fabulous, Julie!! The photos are still on my computer and didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. But the bread was even better than I thought it was going to be (and I thought it was going to be very very good)


As soon as I can get to it, I'll post about them.


Thank you for a really terrific new recipe (my husband is ecstatic).


-Elizabeth

ejm's picture
ejm

Excuse me for replying to myself... I posted about making Julie's Sweet Cardamom Buns. (Here is the post: Sweet Cardamom Buns)


-Elizabeth

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

with the flat side of a knife like I do garlic cloves.  Easy peeling or cracking open.


Mini

Sen's picture
Sen

Thank you (and your mother in law) for the recipe!


Try a pestle and mortar to crush cardamom - just bash pod once to crack open, discard the husk, and bash until crushed.


I add my egg to the dough mixture and then brush with milk before baking to avoid any danger of "scrambled egg" on top!


My mum is Finnish and remembered these buns when I made them. But then, they were also familiar to my Dad, who is Turkish and used to buy a similar sweet bread for his school lunch in Anatolya in the 1960s!

Julie J's picture
Julie J

Sen,


I am glad you enjoyed the cardamom bread!  I know ELizabeth was brushing hers with cream instead of eggs because she didn't want the scrambled egg effect on hers, but I have never had that happen to mine!  I tried brushing one with cream when I made them the last time, but I just really like the taste of the egg wash on it, much better than the cream! 


I am glad everyone is trying the cardamom with the sweet dough!  It is a really special taste if you like cardamom!  Annie T was right about some people not liking the taste of the bread....about 90% that I make it for like it, but there are those who also don't care for that taste!  Is your mom living in Finland?  My husband lives in the U.S., in New Hampshire!


I have tried everything to crush the cardamom pods including what you told me, but the only luck that I've had so far is the coffee grinder!  Try that...it works a lot better!


Take care,


Julie


 

Rene1959's picture
Rene1959

Wonderful recipe, thanks for posting it Julie!  Regarding cardamom seeds...I live in a relatively remote locale in Upper Michigan, and was able to find the actual seeds in the bulk spices section at our local food co-op.  Although we have a huge Finnish population here, which may explain the reason they have the seeds, I believe one should be able to find them at most food co-ops, health food stores and/or natural food stores.  Again, thanks for a very authentic Finnish cardamom bread recipe!


~René~

punainenkettu's picture
punainenkettu

I'm so glad to see more and more people making this wonderful bread. I have gotten my Cardamom seeds from bulk food stores like Mr. Bulky's for years. As for crushing them I find a mortar and pestle easiest, and I can control the texture better.


For anyone who is feeling adventurous Beatrice Ojakangas has diagrams of all the different styles for shaping pulla, (bishop's wig, braid, butter buttons) in her book. I use my host family's recipe and it's always wonderful.


Though there is a lenten bun that I would LOVE to know how to make if anyone knows anything about it.  I am pretty sure the base was Pulla and it was filled with a lovely sweet cream and it's only eaten around lent (probably right before). SO fantastic!!! I just don't know what the cream is.


 

punainenkettu's picture
punainenkettu

So I couldn't stop thinking about the Lenten buns and I went searching (which I've done dozens of times) and finally met with success!


http://www.axis-of-aevil.net/archives/2006/02/laskiaispulla.html


Laskiaspulla!!!  They are SOOOO good. I don't know if I can wait for the weekend to try to make them... 

Tomgibo's picture
Tomgibo

I have a Finnish mum, and grew up going to a Finnish Language Saturday School weekly. I was a bit too young to enjoy coffee at that time, but I adored the pulla baked to go with it!


I've been trying out various recipes for differnt types of Pulla, there's just so many of them and I'd like to be able to make as many varieties as possible. The ones I make most often are called Korvapuusti and somewhere between this an Cinnamon Rolls.


Korvapuusti 'Smacked Ears' Pulla


I will have to try yours soon!


Tom.