The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Finnish Pulla

piavov's picture
piavov

Finnish Pulla

The other day, I was talking to a friend of mine about my tiny little cottage baking business. He asked what kind of bread I baked -- I'm not sure he'd ever heard of challah. But we started talking about a kind of bread that his Finnish grandmother used to bake all the time: pulla. Fast forward to about a week later and I sent him a picture of that week's batch of challah and he immediately responded that it looked EXACTLY like his grandmother's pulla. Needless to say, my curiosity was piqued.

He was kind enough to share his grandmother's recipe with me. I made a few tweaks, based on my experience baking challah -- the result was AMAZINGLY delicious.

Comments

the hadster's picture
the hadster

I'd really love that.  I'm working on my own challah recipe and am getting ideas from all over the place.

Hadster

PS - Looks great.  I love the almonds.  What a good idea.

piavov's picture
piavov

Would you like my challah recipe or the pulla recipe (or both)? I don't mind posting either. :)

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

My hubby is Finn and he loves Pulla. His mom made an amazing one but I never got the recipe unfortunately!

the hadster's picture
the hadster

I think I will give your pulla recipe a shot as well.

Thanks!

Hadster

piavov's picture
piavov

Fair warning, though -- it's by volume, not by weight. Also, I do all my breads by hand, so unsure if you'd need to tweak mixing/kneading times if using a stand mixer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can evaporated milk (warmed in microwave for 30 seconds)
  • 1 can warm/hot water
  • 1 tablespoon, active dry yeast
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg yolks (save whites for the egg wash)
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons + 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 6-7 cups bread flour
  • Optional: sliced almonds and pearl sugar

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine milk, water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar.
  2. Add egg, yolks, butter, salt, sugar and cardamom. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add 6 cups of flour. Stir. Gradually add more flour until dough is tacky, but no longer sticky.
  4. Knead for 5 minutes.
  5. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Knead aggressively for another 10 minutes (I use the windowpane test to determine gluten development)
  7. Put in lightly oiled bowl and let rise until doubled (1-2 hours)
  8. Divide into fourths.
  9. Divide each fourth into three equal pieces. Roll each into a thick rope. Braid, starting in the middle and working your way to each end.
  10. Brush with egg wash (two egg yolks, 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons sugar). Sprinkle with sliced almonds and pearl sugar (if using).
  11. Let rise for 30-45 mins.
  12. Preheat over to 300 degree (convection) or 325 (non-convection).
  13. Bake on parchment-lined sheets for 20 mins. Rotate 180 degrees and switch racks.
  14. Bake for another 20 mins.
  15. Cool

I gave my friend two loaves and asked him to be brutally honest with me -- he said it tasted exactly like his grandmother's. Let me know if you make it -- would love to hear your feedback!

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

I will do that!

frijol's picture
frijol

I made this! It's delicious, thanks for the recipe. I did two long four-strand braids and four big braided buns :)

Had a few little deviations from the recipe, posting in case useful:

1) In your step 10, do you mean egg whites rather than yolks? I assumed so, because you'd mentioned earlier to reserve them for this purpose.

2) When I pulled the bread out of the oven after the first 20 minutes, it didn't look like it was going to shine up (the egg wash had soaked into the bread during the rise, I think). So I quickly re-painted egg wash onto the hot loaves before sticking them back in. Ended up needing another ~7 minutes since they had a bit of cooling time while I was doing that.

3) I did use a stand mixer! I don't know if it's related to that or the fact that this is volume rather than weight, but I ended up using something like 9 cups of flour rather than 6. For kneading times, I did more like 3 minutes/7 minutes on a slow "stir" setting. Dough climbed the hook quite a bit, so your hand-kneading might actually be more effective.

Pulla bun