The next recipe that the Tuesday's with Dorie bakers chose to bake is Finnish Pulla. Along with yeast, salt, flour, and water, it includes eggs, milk, sugar, and butter, and is flavored with cardamom. It is a lot like a faintly sweet challah.
I know two little boys who loved this bread. While waiting for their dad (our son) to pick them up, they each asked for a piece, and then asked for another piece, and then a third piece until I cut them off before spoiling their appetites. I sent half of the loaf home with them.
This bread is braided and shaped into a ring. A small amount of the dough is cut off of the ends of the bread and shaped into a bow to conceal the seam where the two ends are joined.
I tried several times to make a bow, but it looked more like a weird pretzel, so I ended up wrapping the strands around the seam (see upper left). Hey, the photo in the cookbook, doesn't have a bow either.
I followed the recipe as written (except the bow), and even used the Swedish pearl sugar called for in the recipe, which I had added on impulse to a King Arthur Flour order. It's soooo nice to justify an impulse buy.
This bread rose quite a bit in the oven. I just love watching the miracle of "oven spring" in the oven window. I've probably shortened the life of my oven light because I love watching bread rise when it first hits the heat. You'll love working with this dough.
This bread is surprisingly easy to make and looks impressive. It is best served the first day, but also makes lovely toast and French toast. Serve it as a breakfast bread or celebration bread.
This bread is on page 106 of the book Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan. It is based on the PBS Series of the same name. To get the recipe, visit our host Erin of The Daily Morsel. Or buy the book! To see other bakers' experiences with this recipe, visit the Tuesdays with Dorie site.