Finnish Pulla

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Ingredients:

4 teaspoons of active dried yeast
625 ml – 20 fl oz lukewarm milk
1 tablespoon crush cardomon *
113 g – 4 oz soft butter
1 teaspoon salt
200 g – 7 oz sugar
940 g – 2 lb flour
1 egg
1 beaten egg for brushing

Method:

Place the warmed milk in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle on the yeast, stir and set aside for about 5- 7 minutes. Add all the ingredients except for the flour and butter, stir to combine. Add about half the flour and stir in to the mixture. Add the softened butter and stir in. Add the remaining flour and knead into the mixture. You can do this either with a dough hook on your machine or by hand. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with a clean teatowel and place in a warm, draught-free place to double in size, about 1-1½ hours.

Take dough out of bowl and place on a floured surface. Cut off one third of the dough and cover the remaining dough with a clean teatowel and set aside. Work the dough into a long roll and cut of small pieces to form into buns, you can make the buns in any shape you like. Place the buns onto a greased baking sheet (or lined with baking parchment). Cover again and leave to rise for a further 20-25 minutes. Brush the top of the buns with beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar.

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C  Gas 6. Bake for about 12-14 minutes. Keep an eye on the buns so that they do not burn.

With the remaining dough divide into two pieces. With each piece divide into three pieces and roll out into long lengths before plaiting them. Press ends down to seal. place the two plaited loaves onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar and flaked almonds. Bake for about 20 mins in the hot oven.

* ground cardomon can also be used but does not give the same flavour. Crush cardomon seeds in a pestle and mortar, removing the outer husk.

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