Tuesday, December 18, 2012
TWD: Baking with Julia - Finnish Pulla
As it turns out, the Finnish Pulla in this recipe seems pretty close to the original. The glaze on top of the dough is made with egg and milk instead of melted butter but other than that this seems pretty authentic. And I must say, YUM. It is quite lovely. It calls for cardamom seeds in the pod which you then crush. This was an extra exciting bit for me as it gave me an excuse to use the mortar and pestle we have had since we got married and have used VERY rarely. Yippee! I didn't crush them into a uniform powder, but left some pieces a little bigger than others, which was nice. The cardamom flavor is very light. The bread itself is very soft and airy, sort of like a challah bread.
Making the bread is very straightforward and much less time-intensive than many other breads in this cookbook and in general, for that matter. It does have two rise sessions, but they are both very short so this bread can easily be made in an afternoon. I didn't even turn on my beloved mixer, though I could have. I simply chose to mix in the flour by hand this time.
I have the feeling my wreath has a larger circumference than is intended, though I thought I started with the suggested 36-inch strands. Maybe they stretched as I braided? Larger circumference or not, the bread rose fine and puffed nicely in the oven.
The recipe calls for "pearl" sugar for the top, and I am not totally sure what that is other than larger than normal grains of sugar?? Is it the Kosher salt of the sugar world? I am not sure, but I happened to have "icing" sugar which is in fact large kosher salt-sized grains of sugar so this is what I sprinkled atop the bread. This made the clever girl positively THRILLED, as it meant that the bread had SPRINKLES on top. Everything is better with sprinkles!
The recipe also calls for sliced almonds, for which I substituted chopped hazelnuts. For some reason I happened to have chopped hazelnuts on hand but no sliced almonds. I have no idea how this happened but the end result was delicious. I am certain that the almonds would be fantastic as well.
For the recipe, please visit our hostess' blog, The Daily Morsel. You could also visit the Tuesdays with Dorie blog and click on the "LYL - Finnish Pulla" tab. This is where we all leave our blog links to the posts we make about our recipes!
Does anyone else have any favorite holiday breads they enjoy?