Delicious Finnish Pulla

Here's a pictorial Finnish pulla recipe by an expert. This quick and easy guide guarantees success in making a Finnish pulla. Follow the recipe for making hand-made pulla bread when you’re throwing a small party or need something to serve at a local cafe.

Finnish pulla is a sweet bread from Finland – more specifically, alightly sweetened firm bun. It is eaten all the time and almost everywhere in Finland. Pulla is one of the most popular Finnish foods to have with a cup of coffee – an equivalent of coffee and doughnuts in America.

A common Finnish pulla recipe may take 2-4 hours to follow, from the start to the end product. But this one is special – in this Finnish pulla recipe, Aura shows you how to make real Finnish pulla in record time (only 1 1/2 hours!) without using eggs or milk! Aura bakes pulla several times a week, so she has some expert advice toshare with you. We’ll guideyou step-by-step to perfecting your own skill in making this favorite Finnish food.

Have all your ingredients ready

Set everything you need on a table: fresh yeast (hiiva), sugar, cardamom, margarine and flour, 250 ml (one US cup) measuring cup, small and large bowls. Get your favorite pulla ingredient list from Food.com.

Note from Aura: For this recipe, in my experience, I have found that a good substitute for egg and milk is using pure water. When you use water the pulla stays fresh longer. Of course using condensed, dried milk powder does the same trick, if you want to use milk.

Directions

Place the margarine in small bowl and put it in the microwave, or warm it in the oven so that it melts. While the margarine is melting, crumble in the yeast, add 3,5 dl(1 1/2 cups) of sugar, measure 4 cups of warm water into the large bowl, grind in about one tablespoon of cardamom and stir.

Crumbling in the fresh yeast
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Add sugar

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Add water

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Stir the mixture
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Measure 8 cups (250 ml) of flour and stir in gradually using your hand. It is less messy and more hygenic to use a rubber or latex glove.

Add 8 cups of flour
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Work in the flour
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Next, add two more cups of flour and work it in. By this time, the melted margarine is ready. Add this into the dough and continue mixing. Continue working in flour.

Again, add two cups of flour
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Knead
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Dough sticks to glove
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While kneading, always keep one hand out of the bowl. Aura

Add melted margarine
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Knead the dough with your right hand while turning the bowl in a clockwise motion with your left hand. Keep kneading and swirling the dough. The dough also turns inside the bowl.

Do this to make the dough elastic. - Aura

Dough with oily surface. Turn the bowl with your left hand
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The surface of the dough is oily and slippery.

Now is a good time to add 1-2 cups of flour. Keep swirling and kneading until all the flour is well blended in and the dough easily comes off your hands.

Add more flour
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Knead...
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...until the Finnish pulla dough is ready! Look, no sticky dough on her glove!
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Then put on an air-tight lid and place the bowl on top of the stove. Turn the oven on. This warms up my dough inside the bowl.

Since this is a large batch it has taken 30 minutes so far and a total of 40 minutes including preparation time. While the dough is rising, (approx. 30 minutes) you can do other activities. No need to babysit the bowl. I fixed mushroom soup for lunch. After the lid pops open, it is time to work with the pulla dough. Turn out the dough.

Finnish pulla dough is ready for work

What the Finnish pulla dough looks like when it's ready to be worked
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Pulla dough moved to the table for work
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Pulla dough is on the table
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Knead the dough until the surface texture is silky smooth
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Divide the batch in half. Work the other half first.

Knead the dough into a long-shaped roll and then cut it into smaller pieces.

Divide the Finnish pulla dough
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Roll the pieces to a near-pefect round balls.

After dividing Finnish pulla dough, roll it
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Pulla dough ball is ready for the tray
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Place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. That way there is no need to wash the pan afterwards. For this Finnish pulla recipe, the baking parchment paper can be reused.

Brush up on your egg spreading skills!

Brush with egg
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Press a hole in the middle with a small plastic cup. Push down hard enough since the dough springs back rather quickly.

Stamp your pulla with the base of a cup
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Fill the hole with vanilla cream and jam.

Fill with vanilla cream and jam
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Aura's time-saving tip: No need to allow the pulla to rise for a second time on trays as many recipes instruct. Simply let them sit on a pan as each tray awaits to be baked in the oven, which is between 12 to 15 minutes/tray depending on your oven.

Sprinkle with sugar and bake at 225 C (435 F) for 12-15 minutes per pan.

Sprinkle with pearl sugar
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Use Dan Sukker or equivalent pearl sugar for this Finnish pulla recipe. This ensures that the crystals will not melt as the sweet bread is baking in the oven.

Vanilla cream Finnish pulla fresh out of the oven
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Holding a cream and jam Finnish pulla
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Auras's Finnish pulla varieties

Blueberry Finnish pulla
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Blueberry Finnish pulla up close
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Christmas Finnish Pulla with Gingerbread

Form gingerbread cookie dough into stars
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Place the stars on top of the Finnish pulla dough balls
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Layer with egg, sprinkle with pearl sugar then bake.

Finnish Christmas pulla is ready to be served
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The smell of fresh Finnish pulla permeates the air!

A vanilla cream and jam pulla about to go down the hatch!

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With our Finnish pulla recipe, the sweet bread stays fresh for 2 days at room temperature. Put the warm Pulla in a plastic bag (3 days fresh), or freeze them.