Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Finnish Pulla

Growing up my mom would make this  delectable bread called Pulla.  It's a sweet bread that uses a spice called cardamom to give it flavor. Twelve years ago I tried to make this bread gluten free and failed miserably.  The bread was flat, hard enough to break teeth, and certainly not desirable. Ever since that depressing moment, I thought gluten free Pulla was impossible.  I put up this mental block, it was so bad. Then, last year, my 15 year old neighbor went with her family on sabbatical to Finland, and today she came over to my home and together we attempted to make Finnish Pulla.  IT WORKED!!! It was light, it was sweet, and it tasted like the "real" thing.  I am so ecstatic right now, I can't even contain my joy.



Here's a few tips to make sure your pulla works as well as mine. The dough will be moist and sticky. There is not kneading or braiding or shaping.  Instead scoop the dough with a large cookie scoop and place it in balls sort of kiddy-corner to each other, when it bakes it will look as if you truly did braid the dough together.

Finnish Pulla

2 1/4 c. milk
1 1/4 c. butter/ margarine (I used "I can't believe it's not butter.")
2 1/4 tsp yeast
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 TBS. cardamom
1 tsp salt
2 tsp xanthan gum
4 1/2 c. EGF all-purpose flour mix
Sugar Crystals (sugar in the raw, or use the ones found on the cake decorating aisle)

 

Heat the milk and butter until warm, but not boiling. Remove from heat. Add yeast.
In a large mixing bowl, or stand mixer, add 2 eggs, sugar, salt, cardamom, and xanthan gum.  Beat just until mixed.  Add half the milk mixture and then 4 cups of the flour.  Beat well.  Add the rest of the milk mixture followed by the last 1/2 c. of flour.  Beat on high for 2-3 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Scoop a ball of dough (it will be sticky) and place it on the parchment paper.  Scoop a second ball and place it 1/2 way up the ball.  Continue to scoop dough until the bread is the size you want it.  I made several smaller loaves, since they would transfer from pan to plate better.

With a fork, whisk your last egg in a separate bowl.  Brush the egg on top of each loaf.  Sprinkle generously with sugar crystals.  Rise for 15-20 min.

Bake for 20-25 min, or until the tops have started to brown.

Eat!  These are wonderful hot or cold.  the cardamom taste really comes out as they cool.  We also used to shape the dough into balls, cut off the tops (after baking) and fill them with whipped cream and jam!

I hope you like them as much as I do!!!


Happy Cooking!








11 comments:

  1. What gluten free flour did you find worked the best?

    ReplyDelete
  2. We almost always use our EGF All-Purpose Flour mix. I've edited the recipe to include a link to the flour mix.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is fantastic! I googled gluten free pulla not ever expecting a result! lol Going to try this and maybe finally i can have pulla for christmas! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Can this be made with any all purpose flour?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just wonderful. I dreamed of finding such a recipe and it happened.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ok, I'm late to the party, but these are phenomenal! I just used the flour mix I had on hand (America's Test Kitchen recipe) and it worked beautifully! We also drizzle a simple lemon icing on top in my tradition-- perfection! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're so glad this worked for you! Hope you enjoyed your holidays!

      Delete
  7. Did you use quick rising yeast? I tried this recipe and it didn't work out, but we are dairy free as well so I'm using coconut milk and coconut oil for butter. I'm not sure which element is keeping it from rising. I miss our Pulla. I have the dish that my great grandmother used to make 50 loaves at a time during the depression. They housed and fed people who helped on their farm in exchange for room and board. My great grandmother used it, my grandmother used it, my mother used it and I used it until we found out my son couldn't have gluten and dairy and I can't have gluten. It would mean the world to me to be able to make this bread again. It isn't Christmas without it. Thanks for sharing! Hoping I can figure out how to make it work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You, know, I've never done a whole lot with coconut milk, but I have a friend who tells me that her gluten free bread doesn't rise when she has used coconut sugar instead of regular sugar. I wonder if there is something in the coconut that is inimical to the yeast? Maybe try it again with almond milk and "I can't believe it's not butter" or maybe butter flavored crisco? Let me know if it works!

      Delete
    2. I just googled "coconut yeast", and the web popped up all sorts of articles that said the fatty acids in coconut kill yeast. Most of those were specifically aimed at eliminating candida infections, but if it happens with one yeast, it seems likely that it happens with the yeast we are trying to make bread rise with, as well. I'd try using alternatives to the coconut products and see if that helps. Good luck!

      Delete