Day 9: Pulla

I made pulla for the first time last year using recipe that I can’t seem to find anywhere. Ah, well, I think I must have removed it from my consciousness and my recipe binder. While we all liked it, I have to say that I wasn’t overly impressed. I was hoping that this week’s TwD recipe for Finnish Pulla would be more memorable.


Pulla, if you have never heard of it is a rich, eggy, buttery, Scandinavian bread traditionally flavored with cardamom. I have some cardamom pods that I bought for indian cooking, so I was excited to use them here.


You break open the pods and take out the little seeds. I have no mortar and pestle, so I tried grinding up my seeds in the coffee grinder along with the sugar. I’m not sure how well the cardamom seeds got ground up, but the sugar sure did get finer. Now I now how to make superfine sugar!


The dough rose well, too well, actually for my busy schedule yesterday. I meant to take a picture of the wreath after I shaped it because it looked nice, even though I had some trouble making the bow shape for the wreath. But, I got busy baking the snowflake buns and making cookies for a cookie exchange. It’s too bad, too, because the finished bread doesn’t look as nice as I would like.


You see, the oven was busy with snowflake buns when the pulla was ready, so the pulla had to wait, and then it got way overproofed. Oh well. It’s a little wonky and flat, but it sure did smell wonderful!


I also forgot to put the almonds on top. Clearly, my brain was a little over-extended yesterday. Anyway, it still tastes great and the texture of the bread did not seem to suffer at all.


I added the grated zest of half an orange to my dough. The flavor is there, but not overpowering. I’d have to say the same of the cardamom. I used 8 pods, but I guess my pods were a bit on the small side, because the cardamom flavor is not super strong either. Still, the bread is nice and moist and rich flavored. It’s perfect for coffee, snack, and even sandwiches.


Traditionally, the bread is shaped in a wreath and served at Christmastime. Ours will probably not last that long, but I could make another one. If you want to try making one for the holidays, you can find the recipe posted here.

Only three more days left in my Twelve Days of Christmas Breads Series! Be sure to visit my other posts beginning December 10, and leave comments to enter my give-away. So far, in the give-away box, I have a loaf of stollen, a loaf of panforte, sea salt caramels, a little bag of candied citron, and some homemade hot chocolate. I have some other ideas for goodies to put in the box, but I will keep them a secret until I actually make them. You can enter once for each post for a total of 12 entries per person! Comments must be posted by midnight on Sunday, December 23. I will announce the winner on Christmas Eve morning.

Posted on December 18, 2012, in Baking, Holiday, Tuesdays with Dorie and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. I grew up in a Swedish/Norwegian family. This bread is a favorite at Christmas time 🙂

  2. You certainly baked a very impressive, wonderful wreath! It looks like it tasted just fabulous and the addition of some orange zest is a terrific idea that I will have to remember next time I bake it. This recipe was wonderful to work with and everyone seems to have enjoyed baking and eating the bread – it will be nice to bake the bread again during the holidays.

  3. Paige Eickelberg

    If I pulled a loaf of bread that looked like that ( even though you didn’t think it looked very pretty) I would be beside myself with excitement! Another yummy looking bread!!

  4. That´s a grand wreath, and the crumb is perfect! Orange zest sounds good too, maybe it overpowered the cardamom.

  5. It looks lovely, overproofed or not. Those snowflake buns look amazing, too.

  6. Beautiful…perfectly delicious looking…love the addition of orange zest!

  7. Wow – 12 Days of Christmas Breads?! I did 12 Days of Cookies on my blog…I admire you for choosing breads! This looks lovely, it is always hard to bake bread while multitasking. I am sure the taste was terrific with the orange zest!

  8. I think your wreath looks amazing…makes me want a piece! It is funny how mine didn’t want to rise too much and yours looks so nice. Have to say…I peeked at your previous entry…your snowflake buns look yummy!!! 🙂

  9. I have made cardamom cookies before, but not bread. I must check my Scandihoovian books for more information about it.

  10. Your bread looks great and the crumb looks perfect! And you had the sugar pearls! So beautiful.

  11. Your bread looks fantastic for not being too memorable. I plan to head over to see the other breads from your 12 days! Hope I win that box of goodies! 🙂 Blessings.

  12. Your bread looks absolutely perfect inside – and that is the main thing. Gorgeous!

  13. Great wreath. I like the addition of orange zest. I think that would compliment the cardamom well.

  14. Your wreath is lovely and the orange zest was a perfect compliment to the cardamom, I am sure!
    I have been enjoying your bread series, by the way…

  15. I still think it looks very pretty! Weirdly I felt like mine tasted a little orange-y even though I didn’t add any zest or anything. I am super impressed with all of us for making this – it looks amazing and is so festive. Yay us!

  16. WOW! Such a beautiful, Christmassy post. I need to spend some time on your blog. Looks like you have other wonderful, interesting experiences that I need to read about. Have a wonderful week. I think your bread is beautiful and looks perfect to me! Merry Christmas!

  17. Your pulla looks beautiful. I like your photos of the cardamom pods and seeds. They’re so interesting looking. Great job coordinating all of the baking projects.

  18. I’m glad it turned out well for you! I really like the idea of adding orange zest. That’s brilliant!

  19. Provence? Vous avez de la chance! Your pulla looks great- overproofed seems to work and it tastes great. I’m making again and I’m going to try the second rise in the fridge overnight. We’ll see.

  20. Beautiful photos! This was a lovely loaf to say the least. We enjoyed it and will make it again soon. ~Happy Holidays!

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