Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesdays with Julia and Dorie: Finnish Pulla

I have a few of my own food groups which are necessary for my mental and physical health:

Number 1: Dark Chocolate
Number 2: Caramel
Number 3: Cookies, in general
Number 4: Good Freshly baked breads

I enjoy other foods, but these daily are necessities. 

A great bread completes meals, holds other ingredients such as in a sandwich form, and even greater breads can be the meal.

I enjoyed making today’s dough, shaping and decorating the wreath, smelling the aroma, and now I’m enjoying the great texture and flavor of this Finnish Pulla which is a cardamom flavored bread, that because of shape and flavoring is quickly linked with Christmas.

Being the gift-giving time of year, I made two batches of dough, divided each in half, making one for us to try and 3 for friends.  I used pizza pans, as suggested in the recipe, for baking, and a half-size is a lovely size for those at home today.

A few minutes ago...
My baking was almost done when a friend, Louise,  came with gift in hand and I was certainly happy to be pulling hot bread from my oven, and even better, Christmas, wreath shaped, bread.   Louise, shouted, “Oh, you are baking Swedish bread, I love Swedish bread!”

And interestingly, #1 son returned from a month in Sweden two days ago, so he also is very interested in this bread.  Well, there went three loaves, just like that.  One for us, one for Louise, and one for #1 son.  I’ll find someone special for my last wreath.

I guess Louise and #1 are correct...even though this is Finnish bread, I’m thinking it is also Swedish?  I’m sure they know more than I in this area. 

Except for when l bite into a little pearl of sugar, this Pulla is not a sweet bread, in my opinion, although #2 Son  tasted it right out of the oven and he thinks it is sweet.  I’m thinking cinnamon rolls and those, of course, are much more sweet.

The flavors are very good, yet more subtle that I imagined...again I’m comparing to a cinnamon roll type wreath.  I will serve what remains of our wreath for dinner as I’m sure it will make a good  meal type bread rather than a dessert bread.  I’m guessing that those who enjoy a hot cup of coffee would love to sit down with a chunk of this wreath and with their hot drink this pairing would make a perfect break.  I’ll go for some sipping hot chocolate and with my wreath portion, I’ll take a comforting moment before tackling my next Christmas baking project.

Can’t wait to see your posts and get more great ideas for you...and I always do.
Hope you all have a great week.  Merry Christmas to all.  Happy Baking!



  1. How lucky for Louise that she arrived just in time!! Gorgeous bread, Kris! Wishing you and all your family a wonderful, blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

  2. i thought it was sweet enough, esp if you wanted to have it with some hot chocolate or something. i think nolan & i wished it had more almonds ... I think that was one of our favorite aspects of the bread.

  3. Krissy, what a wonderful idea to bake and share some of these wonderful Finnish dessert bread wreaths with friends and family - love the idea that your friend walks in the door and you can pull a freshly baked bread out of the oven...Having said that, your wreath looks absolutely fabulous and delicious - no wonder you all enjoyed it so much.

  4. I agree with your food groups, except my list would probably start with #2-4 :-)
    This was a lovely bread and great for sharing.
    If I don't "see" you Friday, Merry Christmas. So happy you're back :-)

  5. Great looking wreath. I loved the flavour of cardamom in it. And that it wasn't overly sweet. After the first day, we toasted pieces and put marmalade on it. Yum!

  6. Beautiful looking bread! I like the idea of smaller wreaths. Merry Christmas!

  7. Bread is for sharing. What a well timed visit. This bread looks delicious.

  8. Beautiful recipe! I don't think my version would turn out just as nice !

  9. Beautiful! How nice of you to make extra to share - your recipients are very lucky! ~Happy Holidays

  10. This bread is perfect with a cup of coffee or cocoa. I love your story of how quickly the three small loaves were claimed!