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Finnish Pulla recipe

Finnish Pulla recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Bread
  • Yeast bread

A unique bread with a sweet flavour that makes a wonderful food gift at Christmas! It takes about 4 hours to make, so allow yourself plenty of time.

200 people made this

IngredientsServes: 36

  • 500ml milk
  • 125ml warm water (45 degrees C)
  • 1 (7g) sachet dried active baking yeast
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1kg plain flour, and more as needed
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:30min ›Extra time:2hr20min › Ready in:3hr20min

  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 (about 300g). Beat until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add about 500g more 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. Place in a lightly greased mixing bowl, and turn the dough to grease the top. Cover with a clean towel. 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 30 to 40cm (12 to 16 in) strip. Plait 3 strips into a loaf. You should get 3 large plaited loaves. Lift the plaits onto greased baking trays. Let rise for 20 minutes.
  5. Brush each loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
  6. Bake at 200 C / Gas mark 6 for 25 to 30 minutes. Check occasionally because the bottom burns easily.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(202)

Reviews in English (152)

Altered ingredient amounts.I added a little more sugar - about 250g-03 Dec 2008

I didn't plait the bread cause i was lazy, but all the same this was divine. the flat smelled wonderful and the bread tasted even better.-03 Dec 2008

A moist and delicious sweetened bread - I wouldn't change a thing. The cardamom was particularly nice. Thank you for the recipe.-03 Dec 2008

  • For the Pastries:
  • 1 cup milk (lukewarm)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (melted, room temperature)
  • 1 package/2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast ​
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom (freshly ground)
  • 2 eggs (beaten, divided, 1 egg used for final glaze)
  • 4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Garnish: pearl sugar (or rock sugar, for dusting)
  • For the Filling:
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon (heaping)

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

In a large mixing bowl, combine milk, 4 tablespoons melted butter, yeast, and sugar. Allow it to sit 10 minutes until yeast begins to bubble.

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Stir in salt, cardamom, and 1 beaten egg.

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Then gradually stir in 4 to 5 cups flour until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. If using a stand mixer, switch to a dough hook knead at level 3 or 4 for 7 minutes. If kneading by hand, work the dough until it is smooth, shiny, and has lost most of its stickiness.

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Place in a greased bowl, cover with a towel or cling wrap, and allow to rise 1 hour or until doubled.

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Then divide into two equal halves.

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Roll each half into an 8x14 rectangle.

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Brush each half with melted butter.

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Starting from the long side, tightly roll each half into a long "snake".

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

With a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts every 2 inches to make 7 triangular rolls (14 total).

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Place each roll, point up, on lightly greased cookie sheets.

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Then use a finger or a spoon to press down each tip to form ear-shaped rolls.

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Cover with clean towels and allow to rise another hour, until doubled.

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Preheat oven to 400 F. Brush each roll with beaten egg.

The Spruce / Bahareh Niati

Sprinkle with pearl sugar and bake on center rack for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Great recipe and delicious taste. I changed a few things - used 3 eggs, and 2 TB of cardamom. We love the taste and my partner, who's Finnish, said "more cardamom next time!" I baked the loaves at 375 F until an instant read thermometer read 192 degrees, about 40 minutes, and they came out with perfect texture.

Perfect! Having 3 loaves to deal with wasn't a problem! This reminded me of my wonderful semester abroad in Rovaniemi, Finland. When I opened up that jar of cardamom, it brought back so many good memories :) Best served warm with coffee, like the Finns do!

I made this bread as Christmas gifts. One friend called and told me her 13 year old son said, "This bread makes me smile." Another friend told me if I kept making this for my friends they might not like me. She could not quit eating it. I up the cardmom to 1tablespoon. Might use even a bit more next time.

Being of Finnish descent myself, I grew up on this delicious bread, and it seems that just about everyone who makes it has a slightly different recipe, but they're all good. An extra delicious way to eat pulla is to toast it so that it's warm and your butter or margarine just melts into it. YUM.

This is a delicious bread that our family has loved for years, northern Minnesota is prominently of Finnish orgin and you find Finnish Bisquit aka (Pulla) everywhere. I have been making this for years, and have found that if you use whole milk, and real butter, and knead it till it shines, you will get a perfect bisquit, also reduce your oven temp to 350, and you can actually make 5 smaller braids out of the dough. I also brush with egg and sprinkle with lump sugar before baking. It is wonderful fresh with butter, and also delicious toasted with coffee in the morning! I usually add just a little more than a teaspoon of cardamom, the fresher the better, you can find cardamom already ground at whole foods coops which are really reasonably priced, and very fresh.

Thanks for the recipe! I had never had, or even heard of, cardamom before and now I am in love! : ) It took forever to make (I am just learning to make bread with yeast from scratch by hand), about 6 hours for me! After all of the work, I think it was more than worth it. I added raisins I took about 1.5 cups of raisins, added enough water to cover them and simmered them on medium until most of the water was gone. Then I let them drain on a paper towel (all this to keep the bread from getting dry. I have done this to all of my quick breads that call for dried fruit and it works like a charm). I added them last. I made a chocolate sauce and a cream cheese glaze to go over a couple of the loaves. My favorite way is served cold with butter and a glass of orange juice. : ) I used parchment paper to keep the bottoms from sticking and burning. I baked at 350 F for 20-30 minutes. It turned out PERFECT! I can't thank you enough,submitter!

I have always made Pulla rolls at Christmas. My parents are Finnish, and my mother taught me this recipe at a young age. I can't imagine Christmas without it. Like I read before, roll out, butter, sugar and cinnamon, roll, cut and bake. With parchment paper, you don't have to worry about the sugar burning on your bake ware, and there is less chance of the bottom burning.

This is pretty close to the recipe that me and my mom use here in Finland. Here is another tip to make it even more special: Instead of dividing the dough into 3 parts for braiding, form it into a one big strip and roll it out into a big rectangle. Then spread soft butter evenly on the dough and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top of the butter. I like to use all three generously ) After this, roll the dough rectrangle into one long roll. You can make some cuts on the loaf if you want (every 2" for example), this is not necessary but the bread looks nice this way. Brush each loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Making Our Finnish Pulla Bread Recipe

After the flavor and soft texture of this bread, we also love how versatile the dough is.

It can be made into a braided loaf, like we did, if you&rsquore looking for a wonderful table centerpiece. These loaves could also be braided with a filling, like cinnamon sugar or jam, for something extra special.

It can also be made into individual rolls, which can either be left as just the bread, or can be filled with jam or custard, making for a delicious breakfast treat.

Finally, and this one we REALLY loved, the dough can be packed up in an air-tight container and brought along with you on your next camping trip. To bake the bread, wrap snakes of dough around a stripped piece of wood. Then bake your pulla over the fire.

Finnish Pulla Recipe with a Twist

Pulla is a Finnish sweet cardamom flavored bread (also finnish sweet rolls). What makes this really awesome is the cardamom flavor that is inherent in the bread – it’s not sickly sweet and would make you come back for more.

I can’t tell you how long I have been waiting to make this bread but never had an opportunity. It’ s a braided bread and I found out that there are couple of techniques to get them braided (thanks to youtube). Though the technique I followed is not an easy one, I still could pull this one off. If you are someone, who can make bread without a sweat then there will be no concerns for you. However, for people like me, who have to think this like a big project here are couple of pointers- the trick is kneading the dough to let the yeast work it’s magic and giving enough rest time for the dough to rise.

What Makes This Finnish Pulla (coffee Bread) Recipe Better?

The answer is simple, Simplicity, Foolproof, Straightforward, and Tested. Yes, all recipes have been tested before posting including this Finnish Pulla (coffee Bread).

Ready to make this Finnish Pulla (coffee Bread) Recipe? Let’s do it!

Oh, before I forget…If you’re looking for recipes that are simple to follow, then we’ve got your back. With over 55,000 recipes in our database, we’ve got the best recipes you’re craving for.

–1 LB–
1/2 c Milk
1 Egg
2 tb Butter
1/4 c Sugar
2/3 ts Salt
2/3 ts Cardamom
2 c Bread Flour
1 1/2 ts Rapid Or Quick Yeast

1 1/2 LB
3/4 c Milk
1 1/2 Egg (1 Yolk Is 1/2)
3 tb Butter
1/3 c Sugar
1 ts Salt
1 ts Cardamom
3 c Bread Flour
2 ts Rapid Or Quick Yeast

–2 LB–
3/4 c Milk
2 Eggs
4 tb Butter
1/2 c Sugar
1 ts Salt
1 1/4 ts Cardamom
3 1/2 c Bread Flour
2 ts Rapid Or Quick Yeast

1/4 c Sugar
1 Egg Beaten

Add all ingredients into your bread machine per manufacturer. Use Sweet,
White, Light crust setting. Do not use your timer, as there are ingredients
that will spoil. You can either bake it in a loaf in your machine or use
the dough cycle (MAKE 1 1/2 lbs. only). Upon completion, remove the dough,
divide it into three sections, braid, and let rise for 30 minutes. Bake in
a preheated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Do not overbake, as it will
dry out.

Glaze method: Add sugar to beaten egg and mix well. Brush on raised bread.
Sprinkle sugar and poppy seeds or chopped or sliced almonds on the top and
bake. If doing this in the machine, be very careful not to spill into the
machine itself!

NOTES : Jo adapted this bread from her mother-in-law’s recipe which she
used to serve each afternoon with coffee. The men in the fields would
listen for the whistle of the afternoon train at 3:00, the signal to go
home for their coffee and pulla. It is usually made in a straight braid,
but may sometimes be shaped into a wreath for special occasions. Jo says
that sometimes she adds a tsp. of vanilla and some chopped citrus fruit for
a slightly different flavor.

Traditional Finnish Cinnamon Roll Recipe

(Bake in 225ºC / 430ºF for 10-15 minutes. The recipe makes about three baking trays of buns)

  • 5 dl / 2 cups milk
  • 50 g fresh yeast / 2,5 tbsp dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 2 dl / about ¾ cup sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 13-15 dl/ 5,5-6 cups white wheat flour (all-purpose)
  • 150-200 g / ¾ cup of butter, but could use a little more or less

1. Start by taking butter to soften in room temperature about an hour before you start to make the dough.

2. Warm up the milk so that it’s luke warm. Sprinkle in the yeast and blend. With dry yeast milk needs to a bit warmer.

3. Add sugar, egg, cardamon, salt and about 3/4 of flours.

4. Put your hand in the dough, add the softened butter and start kneading the dough. Add the rest of the flour little by little while kneading.

Please note that kneading the dough is a very important part of making the cinnamon rolls! The more you knead, the fluffier the dough gets. Patience pays!

5. Knead dough until it is smooth and a bit bouncy. The dough is perfect when you can remove it from the bowl so that it does not stick to the edges too much. If it does, add a little bit of flour and knead a bit more.

6. Raise the dough in a warm spot under a cloth. Let it raise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until it has doubled its size.

SaimaaLife tip! I usually put the dough bowl into a bigger pan with warm water because warm temperature makes the dough raise faster. This time our dough was left to raise in the warmth of the sun and our grandma’s wood-fired stove.

7. As the dough is raising, take the butter to be used for the filling from the fridge and let it soften in room temperature.

8. Lightly flour a clean work surface with all-purpose wheat flour. Pour the dough to the table and split it in three parts.

9. Using the rolling pin, roll the dough out to make rectangular sheets (about 30 x 50-60 cm).

10. Spread the softened butter with a knife on each of the dough sheets. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top of the butter layer.

Did you know that there are two kinds of cinnamon? If you are a cinnamon lover (like me) and you use it often, try Ceylon cinnamon even though it’s a bit more expensive. Here you can read what’s the difference between Ceylon and cassia cinnamon.

11. Roll the dough sheet into a tight roll and leave the seam underneath the roll.

12. Cut the roll into to a triangle-shaped pieces.

13. Place the pieces on the table the narrower side facing up. Use your thumb to press the top of the pieces all the way to the bottom.

14. Lift the ready buns on the baking tray (use parchment paper to prevent sticking) and let them raise under the cloth while pre-heating the oven to 225ºC.

15. When the oven is ready and the cinnamon rolls have risen, finish them by applying egg with a baking brush. Decorate the cinnamon rolls with sugar crystals or fine sugar if you wish.

16. Bake in 225ºC for 10-15 minutes.

17. The cinnamon rolls are ready when the color turns into golden brown. Some like them lighter, some darker – try and see which one works best for your taste buds.

That’s it! If you want to enjoy the cinnamon rolls Finnish style, make some coffee or tea and invite your friends over for a delicious treat!

Pro Tips

  • Be sure to use bread flour and not all-purpose flour when making yeast breads. The additional gluten in bread flour gives the dough strength to rise higher and makes it more chewy. All-purpose flour will not give you the same results.
  • Help the dough rise more quickly by placing it in a steamy oven. This is a handy tip, especially during the cold winter months. Place the bowl of dough on the middle rack of a cold oven, and put a pan of boiling water on the rack below the dough. Keep the oven door shut to trap the warm steam in the oven.
  • Don't stretch the strands of dough when you're braiding the loaf. This will make the loaf skinnier at one end than the other.
  • Don't have pearl sugar?Make your own. Put ½ cup of granulated sugar in a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon of water, and stir until the sugar forms clumps. Add water ¼ teaspoon at a time if not all the sugar clumped. Set the pan over medium-low heat and stir frequently until the sugar clumps have dried out and you can pick them up easily with a spoon. They will continue to harden as they cool.
  • Place an extra cookie sheet under the loaf while it's baking. The air trapped between the two cookie sheets insulates the bottom, keeping it from browning too quickly.
  • Use a thermometer to check when your bread is done baking. The loaf should be a rich golden brown and have an internal temperature of 190 F.

Finnish Pulla Bread

The cold season approaches again. A week ago, snow came down on us like winter means serious business, already. I guess we are on the last few days of seeing the brown soil on the ground, soon to be covered with snow.

But then, instead of freaking out, I have willed myself that it is better to relax and do some therapeutic kneading of dough, and maybe a little braiding for added fun.

There is nothing cozier than being indoors on cold days, savoring the aroma of bread baking in the oven. It is a perfect day for this Finnish Pulla Bread, it seems.

This Pulla recipe yields a cardamom- infused bread. For that reason, it has a nice touch of fresh, bright flavor that is noticeable yet so subtle.

If you have not tried cardamom before, this recipe is a perfect way to get introduced to it. This introduces you to the pleasing, and unique flavor profile of cardamom spice.

Finnish Pulla Bread: The Process

  • You start off by proofing the yeast in warm water in a large bowl. Once the yeast is foamy, stir in warm milk, eggs, cardamom, sugar and salt.
  • Add 2 cups of flour and use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture until smooth. Stir in the butter, then add just enough from the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed.
  • The consistency should be like the one shown in the photo below, soft, shaggy and not dry.

  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Then turn it out on a lightly floured surface and knead for about ten minutes, until it smooth and elastic.

Pointers for Kneading Dough

  • Knead the dough using mainly the heels of your palms, pushing the dough downwards and away from your body. Use your weight as you do so.
  • Once the dough is somewhat a flat mass, Fold the dough in half over itself and start the pushing and kneading motion in your palms again. Repeat until dough is smooth and elastic.
  • My favorite way to test the doneness of dough is the windowpane test.

  • Shape the kneaded dough into a ball and let it rise inside a bowl, covered. This should take 60 minutes or so until the dough is doubled in size.
  • Gently knead the dough briefly just to deflate. Divide it into three equal portions. Roll each portion into a rope that is 36 inches long.

  • Lift it up to place it on a 14-inch pizza pan that is lined with parchment paper. As you lay it down, shape it into a circle. Seal the ends by pressing them together to close the circle.

Tip: When you join the two ends together, don’t just connect the ends, make the ends overlap by putting one over the other. This ensures that this part of the wreath is not thinner than the rest of the circle.

  • Let this rise for about 45 minutes, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Brush the surface of the dough with the egg glaze, sprinkle with sugar and top with sliced almonds.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden.

This Pulla bread is a stunner out of the oven. No worries that it is cold outside. I will grab myself a slice, pour out a mug of tea and stay warm inside.

Anyways, It is not that bad. The window shows the stunning outdoors this time of the year. Beautiful with all the colors of Fall. Life is good.

Do you love baking bread? Here are more bread recipes from the blog:

Did you make a recipe from the blog? I’d like to see! Tag me on Instagram or Facebook.

Braided cardamom bread (finnish pulla)

If there is one recipe I need you to make this holiday season, it’s this braided cardamom bread, a.k.a., Finnish pulla, a.k.a., the softest, pillow-iest, most delicately spiced and icing-drizzled bread of all the breads.

Don’t get me wrong — I love all the bread babies that have come out of my kitchen. I can’t pick a favorite. But if I had to choose a carb that was meant to celebrate the holiday season, this one is it. It tastes like Christmas in loaf form, and while I’m all for cookies and hot cocoa and rocking around the Christmas tree, this year, I’m breaking tradition with slice after slice of fresh-baked braided cardamom bread as the new way to make the season merry and delicious — er, bright.

Friend, how was your Thanksgiving? Are you sad it’s over, or are you like “what Thanksgiving let’s get to CHRISTMAS”? Did you wait until Friday to even utter a word of holiday cheer, or have you been decking the halls and listening to Christmas carols since Halloween? To be honest, I usually get the holiday bug midway through November, but this year has been weird since we haven’t been in the Midwest for the holiday like we have been literally every other year of my life. I’m very used to being nearly frostbitten by now with a dusting of snow on the ground, cozied up in flannel pajamas by a fire and sipping hot drinks and warming my hands by my oven while I’m baking something yummy.

This year, however, we spent the holiday in Florida, where it’s sunny and balmy and warm and we’re shaded by palm trees and strolling along boardwalked beaches. So my Buddy-the-Elfness has been a bit behind, and while we celebrated Thanksgiving as traditionally as we could (in an RV, lol), I’m still finding it hard to believe that Christmas is a month away.

When I was baking this bread at my parents’ house in Wisconsin a few weeks ago, though, it was certainly cold and blustery and very wintry already, so baking naturally was in order. And as the scent of cardamom wafted from the oven to my nostrils, I knew — this bread is like Christmas in carb form. And thus was my first inkling of Christmas cheer.

Having a German family, Finnish pulla isn’t something I grew up eating and even though my husband has Scandinavian roots in his family, I’m not sure they ate much of it, either. That being said, there’s no time like the present to make up for lost bread eating. This recipe makes two large loaves, which is very appropriate, because once you make this bread it will disappear quickly among families of all origins.

The icing drizzled on top is totally optional, though I prefer the added hint of sweetness and the look of it (especially if your braided loaves, like mine, tend to spread while baking in the oven, which is super frustrating to a Type-A personality such as mine but thankfully not a factor in the flavor department). Some will sprinkle pearl sugar on top instead, or knead raisins or sliced almonds into the dough, and all roads will lead to the same deliciousness. Because no matter how you slice it, this bread is so delicately sweet and perfectly spiced with cardamom and so soft you just might want to cuddle with it (and I wouldn’t judge you one bit).

So since I’m behind the times with feeling all the holiday feels, my plan is to bake more of this braided cardamom bread and eat it on repeat until I feel caught up to my normal levels of merriment. And if you’re feeling similarly, or if you just want to bake something really delicious today, I suggest you do the same.

PS Want to make a version of this bread in bun form? Try these Swedish Cardamom Buns (made with a special sweetener you’d never guess).

Watch the video: How to Make Pulla - Finland Food (July 2022).


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