Apparently Pulla is Finland's answer to Brioche, usually shaped into a braid, or sometimes a ring.
This version, sporting saffron and cardamom, is a beautiful subtle colour and the texture is truly 'melt in the mouth', bordering on cake as opposed to bread. A slower rise would have resulted in a more brioche like, finer crumb, but sweet, delicate and fantastic as toast...Adding the almonds and or fruit is entirely optional. If you think it looks like challah, you are not mistaken. They are indistinguishable other than their origin.
Go ahead, give Pulla a pull!
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- large Pinches saffron threads
- 12 cardamom pods, seeds only
- 85 Grams unsalted butter BUY
- 140 Grams honey BUY
- 1 orange, zest only finely grated
- 30 Grams Yeast-fresh or 2 tsp dried active yeast
- 650 Grams bakers or strong flour
- 200 Grams water
- 50 Grams dried cranberries (craisins) (optional)
- 2 eggs large
- 2 Teaspoons Fine grind salt
- Egg wash as needed
- sliced and slivered almonds to garnish
Place saffron into 100g boiling water and leave to steep until cooled.
Place cardamom seeds into Thermomix bowl and mill 20 sec/speed 9.
Place butter and honey into Thermomix bowl and warm 2 min/50°C/speed 2.
Add remaining ingredients except egg wash and almonds to Thermomix bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 6. (Yes this includes the saffron water and threads.)
Knead 3 min/Interval/dough setting.
Turnout onto floured Silpat mat and knead together into tight ball, wrap and allow to double in size.
Shape into desired shape and prove again until doubled, (go ahead, try the braid...and send me pics!)
Preheat oven to 200°C then reduce heat to 190°C when you put the loaf in the oven.
Brush risen bread gently with egg wash and sprinkle with the almonds. You can chop them if you want. Just make sure they are sticking to the surface of the bread. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and sounding hollow when tapped with fingertips.
Cool slightly in tin before turning out and then restrain yourself. But lashings of Pepe Saya butter are entirely acceptable.
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