Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spice Rack Challenge March: Cardamom Bread

For this month's challenge, I tried a recipe for a Finnish cardamom bread called "Pulla".  It is a sweet eggy bread, similar to challah, and it has the added zing of crushed cardamom seeds.   I bought whole cardamom seed pods at the People's Food Co-op in Ann Arbor, because I read somewhere that the crushed cardamom seeds provide an interesting burst of flavor instead of ground cardamom.   I highly recommend trying to find cardamom seeds for this recipe.  I had some Swedish sugar pearls that I used to top the bread.

Pulla BRead

1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 beaten egg (for glaze)
Granulated sugar (or Swedish sugar pearls) for sprinkling

Mix yeast, warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar until yeast dissolves. Set aside. Heat milk in a microwave over low heat until small bubbles appear along the edges. Cool to about 120F. Add beaten eggs, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, salt, cardamom and 3 cups flour. Beat well. Add butter; beat well. Add yeast mixture. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups flour in three additions, mixing well after each addition, until dough has a soft to medium consistency. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding as little additional flour as possible.   Place dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled, 1 to 2 hours. Punch down dough and let rise again until almost doubled, about 1 hour.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope. Braid 3 ropes together to form a loaf. Repeat with remaining 3 ropes. Place loaves on a greased baking sheet or in greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Cover with a cloth and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375F.   Brush loaves with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 25 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom. Invert from pan and cool on a wire rack.


Tracy's Living Cookbook said...

Hello! I just stumbled upon your blog from the Dig Michigan website. Hey, I would love to participate in the spice challenge unless it's way too late.... can you contact me and let me know? Thanks - nice blog

lookinout said...

What a nice surprise. My sister has inherited a Pulla recipe from her in-laws and I will forward this link to her.

Ben Connor Barrie said...

Cardamom is totally my favorite spice.

Tracy's Living Cookbook said...

Hello again! I'm happy to say that I already posted a cardamom post on my blog ( a little excited?! ha ha) Just let me know what to do from here!

Vivienne said...

Lots of cardamom at Bombay Grocers on Packard. I'm still trying to figure out the difference between green cardamom and the other kind.

Nicole Pearce said...

Hey, I somehow missed your post earlier this week. Didn't realize we made the same thing. I was surprised to see that you call it Pulla after spending time in the U.P.
I had never made it before and was thrilled with how easy it was. I guess you never know until you try.

Shayne said...

I should make this for my Finnish friends.

I spiced cookies this month

Anonymous said...

I was the lucky recipient of a pulla loaf at a food swap at my farmer's market. It's delicious! Glad to see you had fun making it.