Finland

Dish

Pulla is traditionally made at Christmas time in Finland, but it's a delicious, brioche-style bread to tuck into at any time. It's best the day it's made, though slightly stale slices make wonderful toast. Grind your own cardamom (10 pods worth of seeds makes about a teaspoon of ground cardamom).

Ingredients

  • 180ml whole milk
  • 45g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 120g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 egg, plus one egg yolk
  • 300g bread flour
  • 140g plain flour
  • 7g sachet fast-acting yeast
To finish
  • 1 egg white, beaten with a splash of water
  • 10g flaked almonds
  • 1½ tsp demerara sugar

Method

  1. In a saucepan, heat the milk until bubbles appear around the edge, then remove from the heat and add the butter, sugar, salt and cardamom.
  2. Stir until the butter has melted, set aside to cool to room temperature, then beat in the whole egg and the egg yolk.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the flours with the yeast.
  4. Pour the butter and milk mixture into a separate large bowl, use a wooden spoon to beat in half the flour mixture until smooth, then add the rest of the flour and combine roughly.
  5. Turn out on to a clean work surface and knead until smooth and glossy, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, use a mixer with a dough hook.)
  6. Form the dough into a smooth ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with clingfilm and a tea towel, and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
  7. Turn out, knock back, then divide into three pieces of about 280g each.