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Finnish Pulla

Finnish Pulla
A must on the Finnish coffee table! So light and delicious, the cardamom flavored slices are traditionally served unbuttered.
Yield 3 braided loaves
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Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 to 7 cups bread flour, divided
  • 2 (0.25oz each) packages (14g) or 4 1/2 teaspoons Red Star Active Dry Yeast
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs

TOPPING

  • 1 large egg (slightly beaten)
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds OR pearl sugar

Instructions

  • In stand mixer bowl, add 2 1/2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and cardamom; mix well. In saucepan or microwave-safe dish, heat milk, water and butter to 120-130°F (butter does not need to melt). Add to flour mixture. Using a paddle attachment, blend on low speed for 30 seconds. Add 2 eggs; beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
  • Switch to dough hook attachment. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 7 minutes.
    (NOTE: For hand mixing: following above steps, mix ingredients in large mixing bowl using a wooden spoon or dough whisk. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic.)
  • Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after poking dough with finger down to second knuckle, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down dough. Divide into 3 equal parts. Divide each part into 3 pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll each piece to a 16-inch rope. On greased cookie sheets, loosely braid 3 ropes from center to ends. Pinch ends and tuck under to seal. Repeat with remaining ropes. Cover; let rise in warm place until indentation remains after lightly touching.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Gently brush braids with egg; sprinkle with almonds or pearl sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets; cool on wire rack.

Notes

Photo by Food Wanderings.

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