Pulla is the name of a popular Finish dough that is used to make several sweet breads. In the past, I made korvapuustit which was actually my first time making pulla. I learned a lot that last time and did a few things different this time. Before I was afraid of using too much of the ingredients since it was my first time, but this time around I used lots of everything and wow what a difference.
That being said, it’s hard to give you exact amounts of the extra butter, cinnamon, cardamom and pearl sugar, but do not be afraid of it and know the more the merrier when it comes to pulla. If you want to make these you need to buy the real Finish cardamom and no the regular kind just cannot substitute. The texture and taste are very different. The same thing goes for the pearl sugar. This is a special sugar that does not melt plus it tastes great baked on top of the sweets.
If you like you could also make a sugar topping with powdered sugar and milk and drizzle all over the top. This was so good especially fresh from the oven and everyone gobbled it up before the day was over.The Finnish love to enjoy their baked goods with a nice cup of coffee and so do I.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup melted butter, plus more
1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon Finish cardamom, plus more
1 tablespoon milk
Pinch Finish cardamom
1. In a small bowl, add yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar and water. Allow to sit until frothy for 5 minutes.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and cardamom, mix. Add yeast mixture and milk, mix. Add egg and butter, mix well.
3. Knead mixture for 5 minutes, adding a bit of flour if too sticky. Place dough ball back into bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a towel, then sit in a warm place for 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 375F. Divide dough in half. You can make 2 braids (pullapitko) or 1 braid and use the rest for korvapuustit. Take dough half and divide into 3 even pieces. On a nonstick baking mat or lightly floured counter form each piece into long ropes all the same size (about 14 inches each).
5. Lightly press the tops of each rope and then with a butter knife smear butter on top of each one. Sprinkle plenty of cardamom, sugar and cinnamon. Carefully braid the pieces and tuck the ends under. Repeat for the second half or make various shapes.
6. In a small bowl, add egg and milk, mix well. Lightly brush the tops with the egg mixture then sprinkle a bit more cardamom and lots of pearl sugar. Allow dough to rest for 5 minutes, then bake for 15 minutes until tops are golden.
Yields: 2 12-inch braids or 1 12-inch braid and 8 rolls