The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pulla for the EMS team

Skibum's picture

Pulla for the EMS team

Well my nieghborhood has turned into a reclamation camp.  I had EMS and Technical Rescue workers from as far away as the State of Illinois set up in front of my house for two days:

These people are here to help my friends and neighbors, so I baked a big batch of Pulla -- 4 loaves to help feed our helpers.  It was a hit with the Fire and EMS people on the scene.

I have been working with very small bake batches, ie 300 g flour for several months now.  I have to say that I got a better product working with a larger amount of dough.  This is the best Pulla bake I have ever had and chalk it up to the baking experience I have gained over the last 1 1/2 years of Fresh Loafing:

For some the world is returning to normal, but for others the real struggle begins and the recovery continues:

This has been very sad and most hard to watch.

After a week's closure in both directions the Trans Canada Highway re-opened today.  It still looks like a war zone . . .

Happy baking TFLers!  Brian


CB85's picture

That was so nice and sweet of you! And the bread looks terrific!

JacquelineColussi's picture

Nice pulla, Brian! I hope the cardamom-milk soaker worked out well. All best wishes from Chicago. -Jacqueline

dabrownman's picture

Nothing like providing some staples for the needy.  I'm proud of you man.  Hopefully things will heal over time and folks will be stronger for their trials and tribulations they experienced from the flood.

Very nice bread too!

Happy baking

varda's picture

that you got that nice bread to the emergency workers.   A mitzvah.   Are you going to share your formula?   I don't think I know pulla.   Swiss?   -Varda

Janetcook's picture

Glad to hear things are moving forward.  It is truly amazing to see how 'helpers' arrive out of seeming nowhere and work round the clock to help out complete strangers.  Very special people.

 So thoughtful of you to bake for them.  I am sure it meant a lot to them especially since it was something you baked.   Nice that you learned something about the ease of working with larger amounts of dough in the process :)

Take Care,


foodslut's picture

I wouldn't mind seeing your formula, too, if you're willing to share.

Well done - hope the flooding didn't affect you too, too badly.

Take care,


FlourChild's picture

Gorgeous pulla, they are Finish sweet doughs, is that right?  There's something stirring deep in my soul at the thought of you nourishing those who are helping others.  Thanks for the goose bumps :)

Skibum's picture

. . . to see how 'helpers' arrive out of seeming nowhere and work round the clock to help out complete strangers.  Very special people.

I cound not have said it better Janet!  That is exactly what happened.  No flooding here, but some neighbors not so lucky.

Pulla is a Finnish coffee bread and I will post my grandmother's handwritten recipe, which is exactly the same as any pulla recipe you can search of TFL -- all totally legit.  I have added a couple of twists, learned on TFL, that I believe improve the final product.

The first is soaking the ground cardomom seeds in milk -- thanks Jaqueline, this definitely kicked up the flavour!  The second was to use about 1/3 of the flour, an equal weight of scalded milk and all of the yeast to produce a sponge.  I will thank Floyd for this tip in his Blueberry Cream Cheese bread recipe near the top of the most book marked section.  The dough felt like it came together better after letting the sponge go for a hour or so.  Even with a large oven, I divided the dough into 4 loaves and baked in 2 batches.  The 2nd batch with a longer bulk, fridge retard turned out better. I only used about 8 cups of flour to mix and ample for dusting during kneading. Following is Granny's recipe:



  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7-8 whole cardamom pods, seeded and crushed (about 1 tsp)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 9 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • white sugar, for sprinkling


  1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the lukewarm milk, sugar, salt, cardamom, 4 eggs, and enough flour to make a batter (approximately 2 cups). Beat until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add about 3 cups of the flour and beat well; the dough should be smooth and glossy in appearance. Add the melted butter and stir well. Beat again until the dough looks glossy. Stir in the remaining flour until the dough is stiff.
  3. Turn out of bowl onto a floured surface, cover with an inverted mixing bowl, and let rest for 15 minutes. Knead the dough until smooth and satiny, about 12 minutes. Place in a lightly greased mixing bowl, and turn the dough to grease the top. Cover with a clean dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down, and let rise again until almost doubled.
  4. Turn out again on to a floured surface, and divide into 3 parts. Divide each third into 3 again. Roll each piece into a 12 to 16 inch strip. Braid 3 strips into a loaf. You should get 3 large braided loaves. Lift the braids onto greased baking sheets or parchment paper on baking sheets.  I prefer the parchment paper for clean up.  Let rise for 20 minutes.
  5. Brush each loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 25 minutes. Check occasionally because the bottom burns easily.

Happy baking folks!  Brian

chefscook's picture

That was so very kind of you to do I am a Cert AND I know when people help us out with  making sandwiches or if they make homemade breads of pastries for us it is so nice of them we appreciate those kinds of things that people do for us.thank you that meant a lot to them

Skibum's picture

Thanks chefscook, I was biking around the neighborhood today checking on progress and noticed the team that was in front of my house set up at another critical area.  The fireman said can I help you sir in the way that means get away.  He then began to explain what they were doing and I said, you guys were set up for 2 days in front of my house.  All of a sudden it was, "hey you're the bread guy!  Okay you can stay, in fact come have a closer look.  The EMS team appreciated the baking and I am pleased to have been able to provide this for these hard working folks!!!!!

Happy baking, Brian