November 5, 2010

Pulla - Finnish Sweet Bread

Last night I had a craving for some good homemade Pulla. Pulla is sweet bread that is a traditional Finnish treat enjoyed at most every gathering. Plus, it makes your house smell heavenly. I like to enjoy mine with a cup of hot chocolate but traditionally it is served with coffee.

Instead of using one of the many Pulla recipes online, I just used the same dough recipe that I use for my cinnamon rolls. I add about 2 teaspoons of ground cardamon to the wet ingredients before adding flour. After the dough is done, divide it in half. Then divide each half into three, four or five pieces, depending how you want to braid the Pulla. Roll each piece into a 12 to 16 inch strip. Then just braid away! (Or if you don't want to deal with braiding, just make little rolls out of the dough.) Place the two braided loaves on a greased baking sheet and let rise until doubled. Then brush with egg wash, sprinkle some pearl sugar (found in Ikea) on top and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes, depending on size.

Best served when warm but still great the next day, especially when dipped in hot chocolate...

You can add raisins and slivered almonds to the dough for variety, and if you don't have/want to use pearl sugar you can just use regular sugar or sprinkle slivered/chopped almonds on top.