Finnish Cinnamon Rolls and Pulla

Pulla is typical baking in Finland. Pulla is a sweet bun and it can be baked into many forms. All moms bake pulla and all the family easts it happily. We talk about moms and homes that smell of freshly baked buns. The smell gets everyone into good mood and to remember mom’s baking.
The fresher the pulla is the better, and it is best with fresh cold milk. Often a whole pan of pulla disappears into better mouths soon after it has cooled off.

On Saturday we baked pulla with our Italian exchange student. The recipe is in my head and my hands tell when it is ready. Now I’m trying to put it on paper.
It took some time, some years, to learn to bake the dough.

This is what you need for two oven pans of pulla or cinnamon rolls or two ‘Boston buns’ (see the picture for this).

½ l milk
25 g fresh yeast
2 dl sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cardamom
12 – 14 dl wheat flour
1 egg
150 g butter

50 g butter
ground cinnamon
sugar (caster or brown)

1 egg for brushing
pearl sugar

Dilute the yeast into lukewarm milk. Add the salt, sugar and cardamom. Add the egg.
Mix in the flours little by little. Work first with a fork and then by hand. Work in the most of the four and then add the butter. You can melt it if you like.

Work the dough until it is soft and elastic. It stops sticking to your fingers when it is ready.
Let the dough rest for about 30 min or until it has doubled in size. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and don’t let it get any draught. This is important. If the dough stands in draft it won’t rise and your pulla will be ruined.

Divide the dough into two and roll it out into a square that is about 5 mm thin. Take some soft butter and spread it on the dough. Sprinkle richly with cinnamon and sugar. You can add raisins or nuts and almonds as well. Roll the dough and cut into 5 cm pieces. Place them on a baking sheet or in a pan.

Cover the pan/baking sheet and the buns rise for 20-30 minutes. Brush them with a beaten egg and

Bake the Boston buns in 200 C for about 30 minutes. Bake small cinnamon rolls in 225 C for 10 – 15 minutes.

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