Flying Flour, Splashing Spices, Roomful Aromas

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Finnish Pulla~ Not JUST for Christmas

The perfect accompniment is a nice cuppa tea for a perfect morning; a perfect gift.  Thanks, Ava!
Oh! The beauty of the sugar crystals, the oval sliced almonds, the nut brown crust and the alluring aroma of cardamom!  Teasing the senses and so pleasing, a gift was delivered to my door  in the beautiful form a Finnish Pulla Braid. It needs no dressing of butter or jam.  

Recipe from Julie on THe Fresh Loaf, 2009

4 tsp yeast
2 1/2 cups milk, warm
1 Tbsp crushed cardamom (not ground)
1 stick butter, soft
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
About 7 1/2 cups flour
1 egg

Heat milk to lukewarm.  Pour milk into large bowl add yeast.
Next add the cardamom, butter, salt and sugar, mix well. Stir in three cups 
of flour, add softened butter.  Add remaining flour and knead about ten minutes. Cover and let rise about 1 1/2 hours.

Julie made buns.  I make braided loaves.  After the dough has risen, divide in half.  Cut each half into three equal parts.  Roll each third into a 14 inch rope.  Put the ends together and fold under.  Pinch smooth so they don't separate during the rise.  Now braid the three ropes, sealing the ends under.  Place the braid on the parchment covered pan.  Repeat with the next three ropes.  When both are on the parchment, cover and allow to rise about 30 minutes.  Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar and almonds.  Place in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Loaves should be golden brown, not dark.  Remove from oven, place loaves on wire rack for cooling.

Julie suggests frying left over Pulla in a skillet with butter but I have never had an opportunity to do this for there has never been any left over!  Enjoy and thanks, Julie for sharing your mother-in-laws' recipe.

Scottish Morning Buns


Start with flour in the bowl.

Stir yeast into warm water and milk.

Add liquid and salt.

Stir to form a ball.

Knead a bit and place in an oiled bowl to rise.

Divide dough after the rise into ten equal pieces.

On a floured surface,

roll into an oval shape about 3.5 inches X 4.5.

Brush lightly with oil

Cover with oiled plastic film and allow to rise for half an hour and bake.

Scottish Morning Rolls
Makes 10 Rolls
4 cups unbleached plain white flour; plus extra for dusting
2tsp salt
¾ oz fresh yeast (or dry yeast equivalent)
¼ pint/ 2∕3 cup lukewarm milk
¼ pint/ 2∕3 cup lukewarm water
2Tb milk, for glazing
Butter for greasing
2 Baking Sheets
Cling Film
To Make: 
Grease 2 baking sheets. 
Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl and make a well in the center. 
Mix the yeast in with the lukewarm milk and water 
Add to the centre of the flour. Mix together to form a soft dough. 
Lightly knead or turn the dough about 5 times, then cover with lightly oiled clear film. 
Rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. 
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and fold in thirds. 
Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. 
Knead lightly and, using a rolling pin, shape each piece into a flat oval 4 x 3", or flat round about 3½". 
Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, spaced well apart, and cover with oiled cling/clear film. 
Rise in a warm place, for about 30 minutes. 
Preheat the oven on to 400 °F. 
Press each roll in the center with three fingers to equalise the air bubbles and prevent blistering. 
Brush with milk and dust with flour. 
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until lightly browned. 
Dust with more flour and cool slightly on a wire rack. 
Serve warm with butter and jam. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

More on Pfeffernusse for Jack

Meet my neighbor friend,         Sgt. Jack Walker.  He harks back to the days of home in Louisville, KY where childhood came to an end at 17 when he enlisted.

Thanks to Joann Hayden for sharing her recipe from her mom's collection.  More pfeffernusse recipes to share soon!
Jack remembers tastes and flavors of his youth and I hunt them down.  That is how the Pfeffernusse Project came to be this month.  I have collected recipes from the good folks at The Fresh Loaf, a favorite online haunt for bread bakers and friends.   
More pfeffernusse is in the making, and Jack will be the one to say which is closest to his 'memories'.  There are other holiday favorites ahead as well.  Come on back and check out the Pfeffernusse Project.