Pulla, also known as nisu or cardamom bread, orginates from Finland and Sweden. It's a dessert-type bread, typically served coffee or tea year-round.
MAKES: 2 loaves
- 1 ½ cup (354mL) milk, heated to 115F (46C)
- ⅔ cup (134g) sugar
- 4 tsp (20g) ground cardamom
- 1 tsp (5g) active dry yeast
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 ½ cups (780g) flour
- 1 tsp (5g) kosher salt
- 5 tsp (25g) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, softened, plus more for greasing
- 1 tbsp (15mL) heavy cream
- 1 egg yolk
- Crushed lump sugar, optional, for garnish
- Sliced almonds, optional, for garnish
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted a with a paddle attachment, stir together milk, sugar, 3 tsp (15g) cardamom, and yeast; let sit until foamy, about ten minutes.
2. Add eggs and mix to combine. Add flour and salt; mix until a dough forms.
3. Replace paddle with hook attachment and knead dough on medium speed for two minutes. While kneading, slowly add butter in batches, mixing until incorporated before adding next batch, 3-4 minutes. Continue kneading for four more minutes after last of butter is added.
4. Transfer dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let sit until doubled in size, about one hour. Punch dough down, cover, and let sit until fully risen, about thirty minutes.
5. Heat oven to 375F (190C).
6. Transfer dough to a floured surface and divide into two equal pieces.
7. Set one piece aside and divide other piece into three equal portions. Roll each portion between your palms and create three 16-inch (40.5cm) ropes. Braid ropes together to form a load and pinch ends together to seal. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat with second dough piece. Cover loaves with plastic wrap and let sit until slightly puffed up, about 20 minutes.
8. Whisk together remaining 1 tsp (5g) cardamom, cream, and egg yolk in a small bowl; brush over loaves. Sprinkle with almonds and lump sugar if using.
9. Bake, one loaf at a time, until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool for ten minutes before serving.