Finnish Pulla [BWJ]

finnish pulla

The Finish enjoy this cardamom flavored bread at Christmastime, sliced thin and with coffee. 

There are days when everything goes wrong in the kitchen. You forget major ingredients. You forget about the food itself. Yeah, it was one of those days when I managed to make this! The dough rose for much longer than it should have. I forgot major ingredients and had to knead them in after the fact. I had a terrible time braiding these long strands, which was the reason I made two instead of just one. At the end of it all, I learned that I cannot tie a very good bow out of dough.

finnish pullaHopefully the Finnish are forgiving. This bread certainly was! The Finnish are said to make and bake this for Christmas. They also enjoy thin slices of this bread with a cup of coffee. The Pulla dough is made with milk and eggs, creating a delicious soft bread. The flavoring of Pulla is primarily cardamom, a spice grown in the tropics. The dough can be shaped into simple braids, wound into a braided wreath or made into rolls.

finnish pulla

Finnish Pulla [BWJ]

Yield: 1 bread wreath

Source: Adapted from Baking With Julia


  • 1 cup lowfat milk
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup rubia // Demerara sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
  • 5 - 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 100 grams butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon evaporated milk
  • Sliced almonds
  • Rubia // Decorating sugar


  1. Place milk in a Pyrex measuring cup and heat on high until bubbles form around the edges, about 30 seconds. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine warm water and yeast, stirring to dissolve. Allow the mixture to rest until creamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and milk. Add in 2 cups flour, cardamom, and salt, stirring to make a smooth batter. Stir in butter. Add additional flour, 1/2 cup at a time until you have a stiff, but not dry dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer the dough from the bowl to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Place the dough ball in a greased bowl, turning once so the top is buttered. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper coated with cooking spray. Turn the dough onto a cool, lightly oiled, working surface. Knead just until the dough deflates and the air has been worked out. Divide into 3 equal portions and roll into long strands. Starting at one end, braid the dough. Cut of a small portion of the ends of the braid and set aside. Form the braid into a circle, fusing the freshly cut end together. Roll the remaining dough into a long thin strand and form into a bow. Place the bow over the fused-together ends. Cover carefully and allow the dough to become puffy, about 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375F before the dough finishes rising. Make the glaze by mixing together the egg and milk. Brush over the entire braid wreath. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and sugar. Bake at 375F until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing. Remove the parchment from the bottom of the bread once slightly cooled, about 10 minutes.


Finnish Pulla found on other blogs:

Finnish Pulla was hosted by Erin of The Daily Morsel for Tuesdays With Dorie. This Finnish Pulla is being submitted to Yeastspotting.

Gretchen Noelle

My love of food was cultivated early on by my family but has come alive while living in Peru. During the 12 years of living in Lima, Peru, I have also enjoyed numerous trips to other areas of the country. Here on Provecho Peru you will find Peruvian recipes in English, American favorites prepared overseas, news about Peruvian Cuisine and interesting tidbits about life in Peru.

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16 Responses

  1. Liz says:

    I found the bow to be the hardest part of the recipe…it took me many, many attempts. I think it’s particularly difficult to bake this time of year…I always seem to be multi-tasking and that’s not always the best! I bet your bread still tasted fantastic! Happy holidays!!!!

  2. smarkies says:

    Well done on the bread! At least you attempted a bow. I chickened out!:)

  3. I tried and tried with the bow and finally gave up. Your bow looks great and I love the red sprinkles! It’s all about the taste, right?

  4. Ckay says:

    Now that we have baked it…not only the Finnish will enjoy this fantastic tasty bread at Christmas time 🙂

    What a beautiful bow you made.

    Best season’s greetings

  5. Julia says:

    Your wreath looks gorgeous! I love the red sprinkles on the bow. It is the perfect touch.

  6. Yaelian says:

    What a pretty pulla you made:)

  7. Mel says:

    Your finnish Pulla looks wonderful!
    I love your sprinkles, sliced almonds is a great idea!
    Happy Holidays!

  8. Teresa says:

    I’ve had those days in the kitchen – oh, that ingredient…oops!

    Your bread came out beautifully, though and your bow turned out better than mine!

  9. Beautiful bread. Especially love the star ornament.

  10. SandraM says:

    I didn`t even make the bow…..because I totally missed that part of the instructions! But it was the braiding that was hard for me. It is a good bread though and great toasted days later.

  11. Kathy says:

    Your bread looks simply gorgeous!! Nicely done!!

  12. I made loaves instead of a wreath but I will try the wreath next Christmas. In the meantime, I am sure I will be baking this awesome bread regularly! Blessings and Merry Christmas!

  13. Miette says:

    Love your pulla. Came out very nice and festive.

  14. Andrea says:

    Gretchen, I love the fact that you added tht wonderful red sparkling sugar to the bow – I did not even try to make a bow…I theink your Finnish Pulla Wreath looks fabulous, delicious and very festive!
    Happy Holidays and thank you for stopping by, loved to hear from you!

  15. Beautiful pulla wreath! Merry Christmas to you & yours, Gretchen!

  16. Cathleen says:

    Nicely done! I think the bow had a lot of us stumped. 🙂 ~Happy Holidays!

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