SCANDINAVIAN CARDAMOM BREAD (PULLA)
4 TSP. ACTIVE DRY YEAST
2 1/2 cups milk, heated to luke warm
1 tbsp. crushed cardamom
Note: Cardomom can be purchased at health food stores or online. Must be crushed to a sandy consistency before adding.
1 stick butter, very soft
1 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
Approx. 7 1/2 cups flour
1 egg, beaten (plus 1 later for brushing the PULLA)
Heat pan on stove to luke wam. Pour milk into large bread bowl and stir in the yeast. Let sit for about 7 minutes. Add all the ingrediants (except flour and butter) and stir well. Now stir in about 3 or 4 cups of flour, add the softened butter and mix well. Add the rest of the flour and mix and knead by hand. Continue to knead for about 10 minutes. Cover bowl with dish towel and let rise in a warm place for about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs.
Remove pulla and put on a lightly floured table. (use dough scraper) Cut into two pieces (makes it easier to handle) cover the other half to keep it moist. Roll into a log shape and begin to cut small sections and roll into large golfball size pieces. Put about 12 units on a greased or parchment papered pan. Cover with dish towel and let sit for 15 minutes before baking. Now do the same with remaining dough.
About 5 min. before baking, beat 1 egg in a bowl. Take out a stick of cold butter. Take your thumb and make an indentation on each pulla bun on the first pan. Put a small piece of cold butter in each bun. Brush each bun well with the beaten egg and sprinkle a small amount of white sugar over each bun. (Be carefull not to get sugar on the bottom of pan or could turn pulla black).
On conventional ovens Pulla can burn easily on the bottom before you get the top to brown. (Better in pizza oven) . You will have to experiment but basically 15 to 16 minutes for conventional ovens at 375 degrees. Pizza ovens few minutes less time at about 400 degrees. The Finns like to bake the buns at 450 degrees.
For stale Pulla: Put Pulla in fry pan with butter until brown. Let cool enough to spread with strawberry jam and top with whipped cream. YUM YUM