Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Baking with Julia-Finnish Pulla

Nom, Nom, Nom Cardamom

I started off the last Baking with Julia post being all excited about baking the gingerbread baby cakes.  I was sooo looking forward to making those.  And then I ended up not enjoying them at all.
I felt I needed to preface this post with the above statement, as I again want to say that I'm totally looking forward to making this pulla.  It looks so appealing.  (but I don't want to jinx it like I did with the gingerbread baby cakes)  The baking gods might hear me. (Shh)
I don't make a lot of bread (at least yeasted bread), so this should be interesting.  It looks so pretty in the cookbook.

I almost replaced the cardamom with a cinnamon and nutmeg mix.  But I went out again and was able to find cardamom pods.  (whew)  And I'm so glad I did.  The smell of the cardamom as I was crushing it in the mortar was wonderful.

The addition of the cardamom to the dough gives it a flecked look.  I hope the taste of the cardamom comes through in the baking.  It looks wonderful in the dough.

Before the First Rising

Now I just have to be patient and wait for the first rising of the dough.  (45-60 minutes)    Might just cross my fingers to ensure this dough rises! 

After the First Rising
 Looks good after the first rising.  Can definitely see how much it has risen. 

Now to divide it into three parts and roll those out into long strands.

I have to say, I'm a little rusty with braiding.  It seems so foreign when the strands are not facing me straight on.  But I will muddle my way through.                                                   
Okay, okay, not a masterpiece but it doesn't look too bad.  Definitely need a little practice with braiding though!  I blame all the years of never having to braid my own hair as a child.  (I knew those Princess tendencies would come back to haunt me!)

One more rising and it should be ready for baking. 

Blast my excitement for finding cardamom pods!  I totally forgot to get pearl sugar after that excitement.  And it was even on my list!  D'oh!  Oh well....guess I'll just have to use some raw sugar on top of the glazed wreath.  And I think I will forgo the almonds on top too.

Just took it out of the oven.  And I have to say, it looks pretty darn nice.  My braid wasn't spectacular, but other than that it looks lovely.  Now I wonder how it tastes?

I almost don't want to taste it, as I've been pretty freakin' happy with this whole process thus far....and I'm afraid if it isn't good I'll be disappointed.
Who am I kidding??  Of course I'm going to try the Pulla!

Nom, nom, nom, it's good!  I love the flavour of the cardamom.  It is a difficult flavour for me to describe.  But it works wonderfully in this bread and imparts a sweet taste.


  1. Looks great! I made mine the same way--no almonds or pearl sugar.

  2. Your finnish Pulla looks wonderful!The inside seems so soft, yummy!!!
    I didn't use pearl sugar too and it doesn't impact to the taste!!
    Thanks for your comment and merry christmas!!!

  3. Good call getting the cardamom - it's a wonderful spice, especially with apple.

  4. I really enjoyed reading your post...and was hoping all the way long "please please, make that she loves it, because I found it excellent!"...
    Now that I've come to the end, I can relax and I am glad you did love it and it looks really nice and soft and yummy!

  5. Cardamom adds such a nice touch. Can only hope ours will turn out as beautiful. Great job. We will post our gf version sometime in the new year.

  6. Beautiful! I forgot my almonds, but I think it's ok. The bread is wonderful just by itself.

  7. I really enjoyed reading your blog post. I agree, the cardamom adds a wonderful aroma. Your bread turned out beautifully!

  8. Lovely looking bread! I loved the smell of this bread as it baked, definitely the cardamom. I froze mine for Christmas breakfast!

  9. What a great post and your bread turned out beautiful! How fun when it all works out! Blessings and Merry Christmas!

  10. Lovely post. Will be making it soon. Your Pulla looks delicious!


  11. It turned out great. Nice amusing post (and your braid looked good to me!)

  12. The cardamom did add a lovely flavour to this bread. I think the almonds and sugar are optional extras - your bread looks good just as it is.

  13. I think the bread turned out wonderful, the crumb is perfect! The braiding seems more challenging because we´re taking pictures I think. I love cardamom too and it gives this such a unique flavor!

  14. You certainly baked a very impressive and pretty Finnish pulla wreath - I love the picture of your cardamom pods in the jar, it really is a wonderful, warm spice. So glad that you enjoyed baking this delicious dessert bread.

  15. Lovely looking wreath, Sandra! So happy it turned out well for you! :)

  16. Well done!!! That's one beautiful loaf :) I loved the cardamom, too...so glad you found some!

  17. Your pulla looks delicious. And I'm sad I didn't get a chance to make this one, mainly because of cardamom!

    1. I hope you do get try it. I am still thinking about it and the cardamom. :o) But I would definitely buy the pods and not the ground, as it is cheaper and stays fresher longer. Plus it just smells so good when you're crushing the seeds!
      I found a good website about cardamom. (Was looking to see what else cardamom would pair with) It was really interesting and I might try the chai carrot cake.

  18. You did a great job with braiding, looks beautiful.. I wasn't sure how cardamom would do in the bread dough, but loved it..

  19. Your bread is beautiful...the braid is lovely. My tasters all loved the slivered almonds I put on top...they all wished for more, but all agreed the pearl sugar was not needed...just an unnecessary garnish. Anyway the way you made this looks perfect to me and I'm so glad for you that this one pleased you unlike the ginger cake.
    Merry Christmas!

  20. Glad you found the cardamom - it adds a unique flavor to baked goods. As for the pearl sugar, I'm liking the look of regular coarse sugar on the loaves. I did not want another type of sugar in my pantry so I used Carmen's idea of crushing sugar cubes. Your bread looks lovely! So glad you enjoyed it. ~Happy Holidays!

  21. Honestly the most time consuming part for me was cracking open the green cardamom pods and grinding it. It took a lot more than 7 pods to get a teaspoon of seeds. And after no luck with a wooden mortar, I ended using a pepper grinder.

    After all that braiding is easy! And running the strands toward you is much, much easier. I pulled mine a little tighter than you did; yours looks just fine though, and I'm sure tastes more than fine... cardamom..mmmm!

  22. looks great! glad you liked it

  23. Doesn't cardamom smell amazing!?!? I love it, too!

  24. Your crumb shot is beautiful! I agree with you--I love the cardamom.