Finnish Pulla (Cardamom-scented sweet bread)

12.18.2012


Festive breads is something that´s always on my end-of-the-year bucket list, but sadly for them, they hardly ever get made. Blame it on the hectic month of december, which here includes hot days and almost there summer vacations.


So I´m glad I made today´s Tuesday with Dorie recipe. The contributing baker is Beatrice Ojakangas. Now, if you never heard of her it´s fine. But if you never made her quick danish dough recipe you really should. Really. No kidding. You should make danish with her recipe, it´s amazing.


Back to our bread, I love scandinavian baked things. They usually have cardamom, which is one of my favorite spices, ever since I discovered whole pods. The fragrant, lemony, intense aroma of just ground cardamom is an experience in itself. The flavor after baking is sweet and unique.
This is a brioche like dough, enriched with eggs and butter. Easier to make and much more gentle on your stand mixer since it doesn´t need to knead it for so long you´re afraid it might just explode, as it does with brioche.


The butter is melted before adding, very nice, it makes for a silky smooth dough. Then comes an interesting part which involves oiling the work surface in order to work easily when braiding the bread. This is a round braided loaf, so the three strands have to be very long. But man, that oiled dough is a marvel to work with, the strands get braided in no time, there´s no messy adhering of dough to the counter and it´s quite easy to maintain the shape of the whole thing. After all, it´s almost Christmas, we want our breads to look pretty. Don´t we? Though my braids will always be irregular. It´s just my style. or so I tell myself.


There was a bow involved, to put over both overlapping ends of the circle to cover it, which I didn´t do. I just added some extra pearl sugar and almonds there before baking. And the pic in the book, Baking with Julia, doesn´t have a bow. Or I can´t find one. So I´m going with that.

Bow or no bow, this bread is quite a magnificent thing. It comes out of the oven all puffed and golden, the kind of bread that attracts looks. 



I wen´t from almost not making this recipe today to not only posting it, but also the ideas of working with it are making quite a long line in my mind. It´s a not-too-sweet, easy to work with, perfect for so many additions, and quite-fast-to-make dough, considering there´s no overnight fridge sleepover like brioche.


It´ll make a good King´s Wreath or Easter Bread, a sweet bread made here on jan 6 and Easter time. They are supposed to be different, but usually one type works for both occasions.

The host today is Erin, of The Daily Morsel. She has not only the full recipe, but also posted wonderful step-by-step pics of the whole process.

42 comments:

  1. Just gorgeous, Paula! Your post looks like a magazine spread!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gorgeous! I loved this one. I liked that it was flexible enough to rise in the fridge. We'll be making it again!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Paula, your bread looks great! I might just need to look into that danish recipe. My husband is a huge fan of good danishes.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gorgeous looking bread, Paula! I froze mine to save for Christmas morning…can’t wait to give it a try! Your photos are so lovely! Happy Tuesday!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yours is PEFECT! I love all your ideas for using this recipe again :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Cardamom and fresh bread together is the best thing I've seen all day.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Paula, wonderful photography and a gorgeous looking Finnish dessert bread - the wreath looks so professionally done, it is just perfect. The cardamom was a delicious addition to the dough and the toppings of both the pearl sugar and the slivered almonds were just the rught pretty and delicious last touch. Fabulous post!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Beautiful bread Paula! I'm definitely a fan of Northern Europe's breads (as you know), and cardamom makes them so flavorful. I completely agree about the spice, taking in its scent is an experience in itself.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think your braid looks lovely. This bread has just the right balance of sweetness, softness, and flavour.

    ReplyDelete
  10. as always, i am supremely in awe of anyone who can make bread, paula! your pictures - the bread looks moist and fluffy and lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your Finnish Pulla looks great!
    Definitely a keeper to make in different times, with different flavors!!!
    Happy Holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Looks great.. I would like it with milk!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Gorgeous. I guess we both had the same mind set today. :) Was so tempted to make it round, but had to follow the recipe. Beautiful & happy holidays!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just lovely! The Finnish Pulla is a stunner, well done! December is a month with too many recipes to try and never enough time!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Gorgeous photos! I think your braid looks absolutely perfect. Thanks for the link to the Danish braid as that looks yummy too!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Those are some lovely photos and your braid does look perfect! Well done on the delicious looking bread!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I had a bit of trouble with the bow and you are right, there is no bow in the book! Lovely job on this wreath!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Cardamom is definitely a good thing! Fabulous looking pulla. I love your photos...they're wonderful. I look forward to trying this bread again and again.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hola, Paula !
    Acabo de sacar el pulla del horno. Lo voy a repetir ! Es exquisito y el paso a paso facilita muchísimo la tarea.
    Cariños.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me encanta que lo hiciste! Esta receta es un hallazgo, hace rato que no me entusiasmo tanto con un pan nuevo. Hay que repetirlo!

      Delete
    2. Totalmente de acuerdo con la repetición!
      Feliz Navidad, Paula.

      Delete
  20. So so pretty! I need to make it again and get the braiding right! Oh, and make that danish recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow, this looks fantastic!! I love homemade bread, but this one is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Beautiful photos! I am so glad you made this bread so we could enjoy seeing it! Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I checked out the Danish recipe and now I MUST make it for Christmas. It never ends does it ... make it, eat it, find new recipe, make it, eat it! Thanks for sharing, Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Your bread looks lovely - such a beautiful burnished colour.I just couldn't work out how to make a bow, so I gave up and don'tthink it made a difference.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Beautiful, Paula. Your crumb looks absolutely perfect!
    This bread was holiday table worthy and I am hoping to get a chance to make it again

    ReplyDelete
  26. Gorgeous bread and photos-just lovely!!!
    I love all Scandinavian breads and will have to try the danish recipe from Beatrice Ojakangas, I have a few of her baking books and love reading over the recipes, which are always excellent;-)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Looks so lovely and my mom was from Finland but never made this!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Gorgeous bread and beautiful photos.. I am so glad I tried it too, loved it.. Happy holidays..

    ReplyDelete
  29. Your photos look absolutely delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wowowo , I am speechless !!! That is one gorgeous looking bread . Such beautiful color on the bread , it looks like a piece of art . Seasons greetings to you Paula :).

    ReplyDelete
  31. My favorite kinds of wreaths are edible ;) This looks absolutely beautiful and I love the addition of cardamom.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Beautiful photography and absolutely delicious looking pulla. Cannot wait to try our version gluten free.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Gorgeous pictures and such beautiful color on your loaf. Picture perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  34. There's nothing wrong with irregular - rustic things are beautiful as well ;-) Great pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Paula, you continue to inspire me to make breads... I am so afraid of yeast! But this one will be made for sure, and maybe today. Right now, I am sitting by the fireside. That alone makes it the perfect bread-baking day. I have yeast. I have cardamom pods. I have flour. Your photos are beautiful - so much so that I can smell and taste the cardamom! ~ David

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should bake bread David, it´s one of the most rewarding things to do in the kitchen in my opinion. Can´t beat homemade fresh bread!

      Delete
  36. Yours looks so beautiful! You definitely didn't need to bow :)

    ReplyDelete

Your comments make my day! Thanks for taking the time to leave a note.

>
Vintage Kitchen Notes. All rights reserved. © Adorable Design.