Pulla (Finnish cinnamon rolls)
Pulla is basically cinnamon rolls in Finland. I grew up with Moomin trolls (maybe due to the fact that this cozy story was made into animation in Japan. Thus, cartoon was available as I grew up,) and I always felt connection with Finland. What I didn't know was how much coffee people drink in Finland, and what a lovely tradition of enjoying them - just like Fikä in Sweden. And Pulla gives lovely accent when enjoying coffee or tea.
This recipe is pretty basic, but I added a few tips - for successful result!
After baking, it is possible to freeze them. (That's the beautiful part!) When you have an urge, just take it out of freezer, heat up in microwave in a minute or so, then it's good as new!
Ingredients: This recipe gives ca. 24 cinnamon rolls.
For the dough:
5 dl milk
50 g fresh yeast, or 1 packet of dried yeast (12g)
2 dl sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tbs cardamom powder
ca 1 kg flour
200g melted butter/margarine
Butter/margarine - softened in room temperature
Sugar (it can be white sugar, raw sugar, or brown sugar. Brown sugar gives more flavor.)
Raisins - optional
"Pearl sugar" for decoration - optional
Almond slices for decoration - optional
For the tricks: (instead of brushing beaten egg.)
A pan with boiling water
1 tsp baking soda.
1) Melt butter/margarine in a sauce pan. Set aside.
2) Warm up milk until ca. 38C degrees (you should feel slightly warm when sticking a finger in it.)
3) In a large kneading bowl, put yeast, 1 tsp of sugar (out of 2 dl), warm milk, and mix.
Tips: Pour warm water in a bowl before using (so that the warmed milk keeps its temperature,) drain the water, then add yeast, a pinch of sugar, and warmed milk.
4) Cover with plastic bag, leave it about 15 minutes to activate the yeast.
5) Remove the plastic bag, and start kneading (I prefer using electric mixer with kneading function) . Add eggs, salt, rest of sugar, cardamom, and half of flour. Keep kneading.
6) Then add rest of flour and melted butter.
Tips: Please make sure that melted butter is not warmer than 40C degrees. The heat over 40C degrees kills the yeast.
7) Adjust the amount of flour so that the dough forms a ball itself.
Tips: To check if the dough is right consistence, touch the dough. If your finger comes out clean, it's perfect. If the dough sticks to your finger, add some more flour.
8) Cover with plastic bag, and leave the bowl in warm place until double the size. (1-1.5 hours). Now start heating up the oven at 200 C degrees with fan!
9) Sprinkle flour on the kneading surface, and roll out the dough into a sheet (ca 5 mm thick sheet.) I would start with half of the dough.
10) Spread butter/margarine on the surface.
11) Sprinkle sugar
12) Sprinkle cinnamon
13) Sprinkle raisins
14) Roll the dough into a tube.
15) Slice the dough into a size and shape as you wish.
And here comes a secret of baking soft buns - instead of brushing egg.
16) Boil some water in a pan
17) Dissolve 1 tsp baking soda in a boiling water.
18) Dip the dough in the boiling water, then line them up on the baking sheet
19) Decorate with pearl sugar or almond - optional
20) Bake at 200 C degrees with fan for ca 12-15 minutes (depends on the size of the dough) or until golden brown.