I came across pulla, while browsing pinterest. I heard cardamom, and I was intrigued…I love cardamom, but it’s not one of those spices you can just throw in anything. Its got a very distinct flavor. I don’t even think I can describe it. It’s one of those things, you just have to experience yourself! So when I came across this recipe, I was ready to get in the kitchen! This is the first time I’ve baked with it and I was so super excited!
Pulla (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈpulːɑ]) is a mildly-sweet Finnish dessert bread flavored with crushed cardamom seeds and occasionally raisins or sliced almonds. Braid loaves (pitko) are formed from three or more braided strands of dough.
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 + 1/4 cup warm sweetened condensed milk (110 degrees)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 room temperature eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg + 2 tbsp milk
Mix the warm water, sugar and yeast and set aside to proof (about 5 minutes). It should get nice and foamy. In a mixing bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups of flour with the warm milk, salt, cardamom, eggs, and yeast mixture. Then add the melted butter. Slowly incorporate the rest of the flour, a 1/2 cup at a time, till a nice dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, knead a few times and put in a oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap, to rise. Allow to rise for about an hour or when it has doubled in size.
Turn out onto a floured surface, and cut the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece out like “snakes”. Braid them together and lay on a greased baking sheet to rise again.
Mix the egg and milk for the egg wash. Brush the egg wash evenly over the braided dough and bake for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool on a wire rack before slicing!