Sunday, December 01, 2013

Pulla bread

Pulla bread installation

I don't know about you, but this year I find it hard to believe it's almost Christmas already. Today is the first Sunday of Advent and I haven't done any Christmas baking, unless you count the ruined batched of macarons that fills some of my tins right now.

Shopping wise I did get a head start on my usual schedule of last-minute present search. So there's that.

This weekend is the annual International bazar in Luxembourg, an international marketplace for crafts, foods and folk dance exhibitions all for a good cause. I have found a few interesting items. Sake directly imported from Japan! Chipotles in adobo sauce! And as always an armful of used books, among which a Moosewood. I don't know why but every year among the discarded old copies of Weight Watchers and Sainsbury's books, there are some Mollie Katzen's (although this Moosewood Sundays one has nothing to do with her). Perhaps it's the lack of photographs that don't make them keepers? The little book of Austrian baking is promising : Mehlspeisen aus Osterreich, the writing has already provided some good fun (there are some differences between German and Austrian terms, the Austrian word for knead is the same as the German one for abort).

Bazar haul

Anyway, before I lose you, just know that among those two books are quite a few recipes for sweet breads and I got inspired to make this Finnish Pulla bread, but used my copy of the Nordic Bakery Cookbook for the recipe instead.

Monster pulla

Pulla bread
adapted form the Nordic Bakery Cookbook by Miisa Mink

In a large mixing bowl, pour 250 ml warm milk, crumble in 30 g fresh yeast (or equivalent amount of dried yeast), then using a whisk, mix in 1/2 tsp salt, 100g golden caster sugar, 1 tbsp ground cardamom seeds and three quarters of 2 beaten eggs (the rest will be used as a glaze). Mix in 700g flour and 100g very soft butter. Knead well until it no longer sticks to your hands. Leave to prove in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

After that time, knock the air out of the dough and knead in a handful or two of raisins. Divide the dough in 3 equal parts (use scales if necessary). Shape them into three 50 cm-long sausages and plait them together, tucking the ends underneath. Glaze with the leftover egg and leave alone until the oven is preheated to 200°C. Glaze once more, sprinkle some sugar and some flaked almonds should you have any then bake for 25-30 minutes. Insert a skewer or toothpick to make sure that the bread is baked through.

Leave to cool on a rack. Dust with icing sugar for that snowy look.

Big brioche bum

This bread is delicious warm or cold, spread with butter, jam or Nutella. It is delicately scented with cardamom and does have a wintery feeling reminiscent of the holidays. Now I'm really looking forward to baking stollen and kipferl and assembling the gingerbread house kit I bought with the girls.


Paulo Gonçalves said...

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Your blog is Amazing!
My is just a simple one.

Paulo Gonçalves

snowy said...

That looks good Julie. Have been looking at buying a Scandinavian baking book - would you recommend the Nordic one?
Love the sound of the bazaar too. Lots of exciting things to buy.

julie said...

Thank you, Eira.

The bazar is fantastic, lots of nice things to taste and buy.

I really like this book, everything I have tried so far has been a success. The cardamom buns are delicious, as are this bread, a rhubarb crumble tart and the bread on sticks that are a huge hit for bbqs. I can only recommend it :)

snowy said...

Thanks,have ordered the book as a Christmas pressie from me to me :)
Will let you know what I make.

julie said...

Oh, I hope you'll like it as much as I do! Enjoy! :)

Sarah said...

Merry Christmas! That bread looks dee-licious! I'd love to have a piece of that right now with a cup of tea! :)

xox Sarah

julie said...

Thanks, Sarah! Nothing beats homemade bread :)