Friday, December 12, 2014

Finnish Sweet Bread - "Pulla"

Jonathan with his precious wife, Megan

Tomorrow is my son's 31st birthday! Those "December
birthdays" often get swept into the tide of Christmas .....they can come and go with an "OH NO!! I totally (or at least almost)  forgot!" We have a few of them in our family - My son, my dad, my aunt and several good friends. So much little time! With that in mind, our solution is to turn an everyday event into a mini-party....Lunch after church, a Sunday evening visit or a weeknight dinner become times to honor and revel in the life of these special people. At our house, though the birthday celebration may be simple, one thing CANNOT be omitted're thinking I'm going to say "homemade bread", right? Nope!! It's a cake from our local Dutch Haus restaurant. LOL! This is a "husband thing", though we all really do enjoy their cake. So today I'll order the cake and tomorrow we'll celebrate! Cake and family and friends - sounds like a party to me! And Jonathan would say, "Don't forget the presents!" 

Here's a recipe that will help make a meal a celebration! This sweet bread is lightly sweet, with a very tender crumb. And it's oh, so pretty! ENJOY!! 

Pulla – Finnish Sweet Bread!

¼ Cup warm water
1 Tbsp/packet Red Star Platinum Yeast
¾ Cup milk, warmed
1/3 Cup sugar
½ Tbsp. cardamom
½ tsp. salt
1/3 Cup butter, softened
3 ½ - 4 Cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

¼ Cup brown sugar
¼ Cup almond meal
½ tsp. cinnamon

1 Tbsp. buttermilk (or milk) for brushing before baking
Coarse sugar

Place warm water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise until doubled. Mix the filling ingrdients together and set aside.

When the dough is risen, place on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle.  Preheat the oven to 375. Spread the filling evenly over the dough. Roll up, cinnamon-roll-style, starting at a long edge. You will have a long log…..and now you’re going to have to work quickly and carefully……Cut the log in half length-wise, leaving an inch uncut. Carefully lift one strand over the other, in a sense “braiding” the bread, until you’ve reached the end. Join the ends to create a circle and press together to seal. . Quickly transfer the round loaf to a greased pan - I used a 12” round pizza pan. Brush with a little buttermilk and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Cool.

                    Visit for more delicious breads 


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